NAVIGATING AMERICA: A Roadmap for Millennials
Have you ever had this feeling? “I live in a country – someone else created it – many along the way have prospered and enjoyed it – now I come along, and I’m not sure if there are opportunities for me. Instead of opportunities, all we hear about is problems:
- Massive over-population
- Massive debt
- Pollution and destruction of the ecology
- The threat of war and terrorism
BASIC LIFE CHALLENGES
You are entering or have entered adulthood, only to find that some pretty basic things are not so easy to acquire. For example:
You want your own place, but find out that there are numerous hurdles: Multiple up-front deposits; need to pass credit checks; recommendations as to your trustworthiness and even co-signers; additional services like water, garbage, sewer, utilities. And then must-haves and nice-to haves such as internet, cellphone, and TV/cable.
It’s also nice to have a car, but if you weren’t lucky enough to be given a car you might have to finance a car, resulting in a car payment of several hundred dollars. Then there are those other expenses that you may not have thought of: gas, maintenance, insurance, registration fees, tires, brakes, batteries.
SOCIAL SKILLS AND APPEARANCES
You’ve undoubtedly noticed that the upwardly mobile and successful members of society apparently know how to use the right words, to navigate the world of political correctness, to appear and sound successful (at least on the outside). And you may be beginning to wonder – does the person I AM matter? Or instead is it just the persona that I project to the outside world in order to give the image of confidence and success? Here is one of my favorite quotes:
“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society”(J Krishnamurti)
Is that what I’m doing? Adjusting to a society that is itself sick and dysfunctional?
Just so you’ll know, I’m on the high side of Baby Boomer, but I may have a unique perspective on Millennials. In addition, I have several of them in my organization and my family. Hopefully they will keep me honest.
Before we talk about Millennials, let’s talk about the modern world, the world that Millennials find themselves in. This is important because there are some fundamental changes in the works, fundamental enough to completely re-define the human species.
HUMANS and their ANCESTORS
Our human ancestors first appeared about 3 million years ago. Our ancestor Lucy (Australopithecus) was walking around on 2 feet just like you and me, shorter but virtually identical skeleton, dated at 2.3 million years ago. Lucy and our many more recent human cousins (Denisovans, Cro-Magnons, Neanderthals and many others) fill that 3-million-year period. Yes they are our ancestors, as certainly as the Wooly Mammoth and the Mastodon were ancestors of the elephant, and the saber-toothed tiger was the ancestor of the modern tiger. And if we could capture the stories and history of our ancestors over that 3 million years, it would be a saga more exciting than any book ever written.
But more recently, in fact just a short time ago, came our species (actually we are a sub-species, Homo Sapiens Sapiens). We emerged from Africa approx. 50,000 years ago, became self-aware about 30,000 years ago, and other human species like the Denisovans and Neanderthals were co-existing on Earth with us as recently as 28,000 years ago. The last Neanderthals lived on Gibraltar. Neanderthals were a successful species, whose lifespan on Earth lasted 200,000 years longer than we modern humans have existed.
Today, however, of all those various kindred species, only us modern humans are left. If you review our history you will observe that we humans have expanded across the globe, enjoying (and destroying) the vast resources of Earth, using their brain power to create tools and weapons. We have science, technology, medicine, air and space travel – and lots of material stuff.
Why is this important? Because Millennials are a new generation, and the world you have inherited is a new Millenia. It is not your grandfather’s world. This is important to understand, because your parents wanted to raise you and help you to be successful in the world they knew. That world still exists for them, but a new human world with different problems and challenges is emerging. In this new world there are NOT unlimited resources just ripe for the taking. No longer can we kill, burn, and destroy every living and inanimate object which is in our way. And we no longer have the unlimited spaces and resources that Earth provided for our ancestors. There are over 7 billion humans on Earth today, increasing to 10-11 billion in the next few decades, and the Earth simply cannot provide the resources we need. Every year we deplete the Earth a little more. The late physicist, Stephen Hawking, noted this fact and encouraged humans to expedite colonization of Mars, because (he said) that, due to our sheer numbers and our tremendous over-consumption of the Earth’s resources, our days here on Earth are numbered.
WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT
One thing is certain – we humans cannot continue with business as usual. Even if we survive the next several decades (to 2050 and beyond) our sheer explosive numbers, our global unrest, our division, hate, wars, terrorism, pandemics, natural disasters and manmade ones (climate change is a looming example) – these things, if unchecked, are permanently destroying our very quality-of-life.
There IS a way out – a solution. Moreover, it is the ONLY solution. What is that solution? We MUST return to peace. And what is peace? Peace (for ANY species) is “living in harmony with your/its design.” Peace for humans means living in harmony with our natural human design – living in harmony with Earth; with all of life on it; and (most importantly) living in harmony with each other.
You might ask “What IS our human design? By observing what we know of our human ancestors, as well as the higher-order mammals that we are closest to (gorillas, elephants, dolphins, etc.) we humans live in groups (communities, villages, tribes). We have sayings:
“We do together what we cannot do alone”
“Whenever two or more are gathered”
“United we stand, divided we fall”
These sayings all point to a paradox – though our current modern behavior exhibits a virtual addiction to ‘self’ (I, I, I … I can do life just fine by myself), the truth is that we CANNOT do life by ourselves because that is in collision with our natural design. Bears are relatively solitary. Humans are not.
A sad reality is that we have given up a tremendous amount of our natural design, our freedom, even our money, to global governments, and those governments have a fatal unintended consequence – they lure us away from our natural groupings (communities). Why do the hard work of creating a safe and successful community, when a huge governmental machine promises to solve your every need. But HOW IS THAT WORKING? One look at humanity, globally, should give you the obvious answer. Complexity, war, division, hate, nation against nation, political party against political party, even family member against family member! IS THAT THE BEST WE CAN DO?
So we must return to our natural state, in community. Governments must be returned to their proper role – as public servants. Public servants and no more. Of course these governments, with the massive power and wealth we have given them, are not going to reduce their size and power on their own. So this transfer of power (from government to us in our communities) must be initiated and demanded by us, the world’s people, together.
For more information on this transition and how it will work, visit our website (www.AReturnToPeace.com), our Facebook page (www.Facebook.com/AReturnToPeace), and browse our blogs and available books. And join us!