Barbara Emrys

One Dreamer at a Time

by Barbara Emrys

In a time when it should be easy to come up with topics to write about, I can’t decide on any single one. Maybe there’s just too much going on these days. There’s a deep and growing turbulence in the human dream. Words like unity and cooperation have become oddly controversial. We see divisions between people who have previously strived to co-exist. We see our planet responding to real metabolic changes, but we won’t take unified actions to soothe her distress.

Yep, there’s a lot going on in the world, and a lot for us to be concerned about. And, of course, there’s a lot of temptation to react to all of it, all the time. So maybe the issue that really matters is this: How are we taking care of our own minds and bodies during this time of lost norms and perpetual squabbling? First, we can look at the big picture a little differently.

Picture yourself as a child, listening to family members argue around the dinner table. Maybe your brothers are fighting over who gets control over the PlayStation. Maybe your mom is complaining about never having time to herself. Your dad might be ranting about pressure at work, or insisting on some peace when he gets home. “What happened to house rules?” he bellows. “What happened to honoring your father and mother?” Maybe your sister has a problem with you, or with your parents, or with the world in general. The mood is intense, but behind all the noise, it seems everyone is crying out for some respect.

That scene may not remind you of your own family, but it describes the family of man. Everyone has a complaint. Everyone wants to be heard and seen. Everyone’s crying out for respect. People are in constant dispute over something, and disputes often escalate into violent actions. Take our dinner-table scenario a step further, and we would have family members at war with each other. We’d have parents denying their own children, and siblings denying each other’s right to exist. We’d have neighbors killing other neighbors over an idea. We’d have everyone fighting to be right, at any cost. Such things have been happening somewhere, at some point, throughout human history. Such things are happening now.

There’s a lot to be concerned about these day, for sure. Aside from the drama going on in our private lives, it seems humanity itself is teetering on a the brink of change again. We’re close to starting some ugly “family fights” that will take generations to resolve. We’re also close to sickening our environment beyond any practical cure. It’s all happened before, but we like to think we know better than to let it all happen again. Do we, though?

Rather than addressing one topic or issue at a time, let me just say that big blow-ups in the world start with little battles in our minds. Wars begin with one person submitting to fear, and then another and another. When fears turn to hostile actions, it sparks global events.

So what can one person do, you ask? You can face your fear and defeat it. You can modify your stories, and allow respect to replace all the outdated weapons in your arsenal. Respect yourself, above all. If you don’t have it, you can’t give it is a call to open your heart and to wield love like a master sorcerer. If we can’t express our love and respect, we’re destined to squabble endlessly, like all the others around the table. We’ll be helpless to stop major conflicts, and at a loss to know why.

It’s time to show humanity how to live up to its own maturity. It’s time to solve problems as if we’re living a thousand years into the future, assuming great wisdom is part of our destiny. And the solutions begin with you– one mind, one dreamer. It begins with one person who’s willing to bring sanity back into fashion and to make respect sexy again. Today.

Your dream is your own. How it submits to the dream of humanity– or defies it– is up to you. Like I said: just one dreamer at a time.

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