Recently a friend and I were talking about the global situation. He told me that it is really challenging for him to stay present with the pain and intensity of it all. I didn't reply but just sat in that feeling with him until he said, “I guess that's what got us into this mess, isn't it?” I smiled. “Yep, the turning away is what got us here. The thinking that it is possible to turn away, that we are somehow able to remove ourselves from the equation.”
In efforts to distance ourselves from the pain and suffering of the world, we create ever-more elaborate methods of distraction, content to direct our awareness towards anything except that which is most demanding our attention. As the modern industrial machine continues to insatiably devour the world’s forests and devastate the ecological integrity of our planetary life systems, so many of us remain deaf to the cries of our human and nonhuman kin. What can we do to reestablish open, receptive, and mutually enlivening channels of communication?