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Change or Die

 Change or Die

In this crazy year of 2020, we’ve already been forced into some pretty substantial changes. COVID-19 has most of us in masks in public, social distancing and avoiding what used to be commonplace like going to a game or shopping. All changes we didn’t seek, but changes we have to deal with none the less. And that’s just coronavirus stuff.

Change or Die applies to the more active resistance to police abuse. If you’re a person of color, your very life is threatened by systemic racism and cops who want to control others instead of supporting their communities.

We’re seeing Change or Die being applied to the Democratic Convention and we’ll surely see it next week at the Republican. No crowded convention halls, no physical back room deals – it’s all had to change.

Here in Cincinnati we’re having another bout of gun killings. Last weekend 18 people were shot with 4 of them dying. Here’s a piece from WLWT.com about how 2020 could see the most deaths ever, passing 2106 as our deadliest year so far. And this piece was published on August 4, before this past weekend…

These are just a few top of mind examples of the incredible changes we’re facing and hence the incredible strain we’re under. If you live in Eastern Iowa you’re facing even more challenges, as the ‘storms’ there last week devastated the area.

Cedar Rapids Storm Damage

Which points to at least one or two more ‘Change or Die’ points. Climate Chaos is already upon us. The media changed the term to ‘climate change’ from ‘global warming’ because global warming sounded too scary. I guess we’re not scared enough yet. Iowa’s huge agricultural footprint points to another Change or Die – Industrial Agriculture.

Modifying our food plants so they can withstand pesticides being applied to reduce bugs or weeds – what could go wrong? GMOs. And why might that be some disgusting shit to put it our bodies – it is. And this before we mention topsoil loss, ocean dead zones, runoff from factory farms where caged animals live and die for our meat-heavy diets.

Change or Die. It’s a new mantra, a new meme. Alan Duetschman actually wrote a book on the topic back in 2007. A main theme of his? We don’t like to change, and don’t do it much.

I counter that we change plenty when it’s life or death, as we’re doing this year. And yet there’s an even more interesting and compelling context for ‘Change or Die’. It’s how we run our personal lives.

There’s no data on how fearful we are. No pundits who describe a year as particularly full of fear or full of release, minimal stress, etc. That said, 2020 is probably the most fearful year since at least the 1960s, when so many of us were convinced nuclear war was imminent. The COVID-19 disruption. BLM with so many ruined lives from past brutalities and a bully president. Economic desolation with so many of us losing work and/or businesses. The fear level is overwhelming.

Here, at ground zero of our individual lives, we find another ‘Change or Die’ situation. Even in these times where our very species feels threatened, we can choose to live without fear. Now that’s a change. Fear is the conditioned response we’ve been taught as a reaction to pain our whole lives, and our corrupt culture is heavily predisposed to making us afraid because it serves their ends. I could go on and on about the corporate empire we live under, but my concern here is to remind you of the freedom you have within that pretty little head of yours.

Regardless of what the world throws at us, we maintain the power of out intent. We are (potentially) the masters of our intent, so we can choose love over fear this second. (That said, in my case it’s been about a 30 year process.) At least when I started working to rid myself of fear, I understood the real choice, which is how I play it right now, this point where the future becomes the past. This point of Life, Now.

The greatest learning on my quest was ‘A Course in Miracles’, a very curious work notable for lessons like ‘There is no fear.’ and ‘I need do nothing.’ – a far cry from what we’ve learned growing up in this broken culture. This quest is so central to the quality of our lives that I write extensively about fear and love in my book, ‘World 5.0 – We Move From Here’. And if the idea of the Totality of Now seems foreign, I’ve an article on World5.org that addresses The Three Truths.

So, even as our world is crumbling under the weight of all the bullshit in the old culture, a new culture, built on Life Itself, is emerging. Those of us living within the new culture, if only in our personal lives, know ‘there is no fear’.

Jim Prues