I’m now four hours from Chicago, and without trying to over glamorise the trip, it has been truly wonderful in so many respects: Scenery, fellow passengers, comfort, great pace, and a glimpse of four states and of America, and some of their towns and cities..
Sunset dinner in the dining carriage with an interesting late thirties woman with a 9 month old: She was moving from Los Angeles to a small town in Indiana, after having lived for ten years in New York City, and now totally had enough of the big city values and lifestyle. Moving from NYC she thought California would be better but after trying Los Angeles now, she realised it’s the Big Cities and The System that is ‘the problem’. Being part of a US Navy family, she’d lived many years overseas when she was younger, and ended by saying: “Maybe I shouldn’t be trying Indiana, but rather be leaving America?
At Raton, New Mexico, a huge contingent of boy scouts joined us at and I ended up immersed in conversation with four of them: Sixteen year olds, having just spent two weeks on a wilderness camp. Well, different to my California experience, here I found young people who had a perspective of Nature that was both confused but surprisingly enlightened for their age. Two of the three had travelled overseas the one had even been to South Africa.
When I asked whether they think humans are part of Nature or something special and different, they said they believed we should be part of Nature, but we have drifted away and aren’t anymore. I explored more what Nature is and how it works, and they all agreed without doubt that we should be part of Nature, and as they spoke I saw a real pain in their expressions. Almost like they shouldn’t be saying that as they were breaking a promise that they weren’t to tell anyone that?? My eyes welled up, and I shared with them how sad I find this this fact is, but how great it is that they realise this and were sharing their hearts with me…..
They didn’t know about the extent of our ‘One Point Six and ever increasing’ problem, but as I took them through it they got ‘it’ all straight away, and I sensed a huge shock, but interestingly there was also a desire to explore and understand. Unlike many older people, this exchange seemed free of guilt / denial baggage, and there was almost a sense of excitement of a new unknown they were discovering.
Like I have done many times with the younger generation, I then openly apologised to them for what ‘My Generation’ have done. Almost in mitigation highlighting the fact that we are the first generation to actually have ‘The Facts’ that show us ‘for the first time’ what many generations of society have done. It was now for them to decide what to do, and I shared how I was exploring the unknown myself, how to help and what I should do…?
I then moved the conversation to their personal context? We spent four hours talking through all this and what it could mean for their life / career choices, and this all helped me see that the best thing a young person needs today is to have strong life explorer and a life adventurer skills…. We need a quite different new path, but one that uses the great things from the current path, yet set in a future One Point Zero context, where Nature is Supreme. This requires radical explorers, and extreme adventurers who are fearless for the unknown, and sceptical of passed down truths, and with that mind set the life journey will be Fun, Challenging and Rewarding.
It was a valuable time together for all of us, and I just wondered if any of you reading this have shared One Point Zero with your ‘young adults’ and how you deal with these seemingly difficult discussions. Not having kids, it’s easy for me to have these discussions, but it made me realise that if I did have kids I’d hope they already knew about all this because of my proactive leadership! If they didn’t know then once I knew the One Point Zero story I’d definitely be sharing it and make the sharing and guidance part of my contribution to mitigating my generation’s ‘guilt’… Or maybe ‘ignorance is bliss’ and keep it all away from ‘them’….? I can’t see how that is good for anyone, but…. I don’t know? This is all challenging stuff!
Trumped by Nature is delivering what I envisaged, and if I’d flown from NZ to Minneapolis, it would have just been a day or two, but man I’d never have had the rich and challenging experience I’m currently having…
I’m only one third of the way through the adventure, but already I have no doubt that these three months at the coalface of the One Point Zero interface with Society will have a profound impact on decisions once I’m back in New Zealand, and my future activist journey. For now, let the adventure continue….