When you wish upon a star

January 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

By and large, sooner than later, most of us buy a lottery ticket, one time or another. As they do say, “you can’t win if you don’t have a ticket.” “They” love to quote the incredible odds against winning – massive percentages against it – you are more likely to be stuck by lighting three times than win…

Makes me wonder: every so often, pretty regularly actually, someone dodges the lightning and wins, big time.

Crazy stories about winners, of course. The middle-aged couple in the Maritimes who won big and gave most of it away because they didn’t need it, happy as they with their modest lives. 

Two young men here in Orangeville won big – last year, wasn’t it? They had choices: at their age, the amount was enough to control the rest of their lives unless they took control of it.

This column spends a lot of time wishing and the chances of winning seem to be as long shot as a lottery, which is weird because none of these wishes are a matter of luck, only of wisdom and seriousness finally settling into the minds and hearts of people in charge of the planet. That’s a fairly long shot, in truth, I guess.

The planet’s point of history at the moment is profoundly pivotal. The poison to the south of us is spreading like the wild fires in the west, with regard to Trump-style governing, with real openness of racism, sexism, ignorance, arrogance and fanatic denial of the changes to this planet we are causing.

They say, “We’ve been here before and got through it,” pointing to tyrannical leaders in the distant and recent past who hauled the world into wars, who are still promoting war-mongering and unbelievable harm to civilians in the name of more lies. 

Truth is, we have not been here before. 

We have called moments in history “pivotal and the most important [moment, election] ever,” but there has not been a time when it was more surely the case than now. 

Of all the comments, of all the facts and not-facts, this statement stands at the top of being true, correct, fair warning.

Spock had an image in his quarters of the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, in one of the old Star Movies (VI). His fellow Vulcan, a much younger woman, asked him why and he explained, “To remind me that all things change and that the Universe will unfold as it should.”

This is not simply a time of change; it is time of going backward to possible ruin as in the U.K. at the moment, with its turmoil over Brexit.  It is a time of going forward to sure ruin, if our directions will not alter. This is what I mean by our never having been here before.

Throughout our species’ history of chaos, with limited times in one place or another of peace and productivity, empires have risen and been tumbled down by so many reasons: more powerful empires defeating them; being dragged to a halt by their own weight; in business, like governments, ruined by corruption, greed, mismanagement.  

Yet, in all that time, never did we generally admit that we are a species of ruin on very personal levels. We have forgotten to observe, in a constructive way, the bit by bit damage we were inflicting on our own selves as we hurried to develop and indulge “progress.”

Every clever, useful, constructive – and so on – invention ever created, has quite been perverted to a weapon or used for harm in other ways. The internet is top of the pops, the latest and greatest example of this. What could have solved so many problems with freely available information, a levelling of the haves and the have-nots, all that was hoped, became a tool for war and harm, to a much larger extent than otherwise. 

Somehow, more than 68 million people are fleeing their homes, where  – remember – they would rather stay. Those conditions are about conflict but also, now, “climate refugees” whose homes were destroyed by the habits of the wealthy in other countries. Their homes, the land, the places – ruined and looking to stay that way.

Europe and here, in North America, have been bringing them in, sometimes faster than paperwork can be processed, until the sheer volume of need is beginning to outweigh the charity.

How can we cure what we are at the base? How can a species convert from its whole life long tendencies for violence and despoiling of our very personal habitats?

Denial of the truth does not render it less true.

We are suddenly pitched into reverting back to what is the worst of us. It almost too late for the grassroots rebellion against devastation unless the numbers of us are big enough – big enough to win that lottery.

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