As it turns out, Michael Stipe was somewhat of a prophet when he penned the lyrics to the popular REM song, It’s the End of the World as We Know it….and I Feel Fine:
Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn. World serves its own needs, dummy, serve your own needs. Feed it off an aux speak, grunt, no strength. The ladder starts to clatter with fear fight, down, height. Wire in a fire, representing seven games In a government for hire and a combat site. Left of west and coming in a hurry With the furies breathing down your neck Team by team reporters baffled, trumped, tethered, cropped. Look at that low playing! Fine, then. Uh oh, overflow, population, common group But it’ll do. Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its own needs, listen to your heart bleed, Dummy, with the rapture and the rev-‘rent and the right, right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light Feeling pretty psyched. It’s the end of the world as we know it….
And I feel fine!
How did Michael Stipe know in 1987 that this is EXACTLY where we would be today?
As a nation, we have never been more separate than we are now (except maybe during the Civil War). Beyond our nation, we have sowed the seeds of separation worldwide. We now stand as people against people, nation against nation, religion against religion, gender against gender, race against race, etc. etc. etc. As many prophets have told us, (Jesus, Abraham Lincoln), a nation and a world divided cannot stand. What we have witnessed in the past week is this world of separation in its collapse.
While it is terrifying to watch this world crumble, this is the hope that I cling to:
That out of this division, UNITY will arise.
That after all is said and done we will come together as a people, as a nation, as a world. Because if we do not, it will not only be the end of the world as we know it, it will be the end of us. If we do not find a way to transcend the fear and separation that has built the wall between us we too will meet our demise.
Unity or Division – it is our choice.
I, for one, am choosing union and here is how you can do the same:
Cultivate unity within yourself. Identify all the places within yourself where fear rears its ugly head and find ways to heal, transform and even release that fear. Find out who you are, what your gifts are and how you are called to use these gifts for the sake of your own fulfillment and in service to the world. (Hint: I can help you with that.)
Cultivate union between yourself and others. Get to know other people, other races, other religions, other nationalities, other cultures, other anything! At our heart, we are more similar than we are different. At the end of the day we ALL want the same things: food on our table, a roof over our head, clothing on our back, a safe place to live, meaningful work.
Exercise compassion, empathy, understanding. Put yourself in the shoes of “the other” and walk around a bit. See what it feels like to be poor, hungry, abused, deprived of your rights and liberties.
Stand up for the rights of others. The Golden Rule works well here. How would you want to be treated? Treat others with the same dignity and respect.
Show others how to do the same.
This is how the new world of Unity will arise out of the ash of the old. What will be your choice? Unity or Division?
If you are interested in choosing Unity, please check out the programs and services of Authentic Freedom Academy. And if you are in the Oshkosh area, please join us for our One Tribe Gathering, Monday, February 6, 2017. Details HERE.