So time for something slightly different.
It feels as though we are slowly hurtling towards the end of the year. There are 6 weeks left of 2016.
Temperatures are dropping. Leaves are no longer in bloom as glorious and rustic reds, gold or orange tones, but sodden and fermenting in the ground beneath our feet. As I drive home, trees on our street have bare branches that increasingly look like bleak skeletons shivering in the colder air. There are 6 weeks left of 2016.
Earlier on this week, on November 14th we passed through a “Super Moon”.
The full “super” moon on November 14th 2016, represented the closest point the moon has come to earth thus far in the 21st century. The moon won’t come this close again until November 25, 2034.
In theory the moon was bigger and brighter than it had been for 60 years. In reality, as far as I could tell, it could barely be seen through the clouds and damp air . In between a full day’s work, dark and dreary cloudy skies driving home, putting a toddler to bed and falling asleep half way through The Walking Dead, looking wistfully at the super moon was not on my monday to-do-list.
But….I believe that it is not only necessary but critical to at times take stock and be mindful of our inner feeling state and the energies that we surround ourselves with.
Perhaps it’s just a reflection of the hype that there has been about this, but I have felt that this “supermoon”, mirrors a huge energy shift that is currently taking place in the world.
I know. That sounds like a line straight from a Take a Break astrology column. But I base my feeling on a combination of intuition and my observations of what we can take away from the changes of 2016.
Whether or not people feel happy and comfortable with the changes that have taken place this year, and particularly over the last week with the US election result, the really significant part is that they have been jolted awake. Change offers the opportunity for growth.
The events of 2016 have meant that the failings of the old politics , on both the left and the right, have been laid bare. The establishment and old ways of doing things were rejected, both at Brexit and now with Trump. In the process, the paint was peeled off so many things that as individuals and a society, we had tried to keep hidden or just accepted as we trundled along our daily lives.
As a result, the landscape of “liberalism” is now going through a period of being dramatically redrawn.
I believe that if people are able to act with self-reflection and openness, then we are entering a period of time that represents a momentous opportunity for the left to re-engage with people who have felt disconnected and disenfranchised from a politics that for far too long, was obsessed with identity and political correctness. it left behind swathes of the working middle class whose opportunities have been curtailed by the economy.
This was simply not good enough. It is now time for people to be brought back in.
This year, the accepted premise that neo-liberal economics should dominate the world, no matter what the impact upon the ordinary working man has started to be questioned and rejected by more of the population. The notion that people will just continue accepting a form of capitalism that doesnt even offer the basics, can no longer just be assumed by those in government.
The notion that the west should not seek better relations with Russia has also, been questioned. And the power of the mainstream media has drifted into a sea of irrelevancy as we now see how they got the story so wrong.
These are all things that hold the potential for deep and fundamental shifts from the old “accepted” ways of doing things into more a more positive direction.Globalism has been failing people. Deadlocked foreign relations that lead to never-ending wars in places like Syria have failed people. Poisonous mainstream media conglomerates that spin divisive rhetoric have failed people.
The shift that the Trump election has brought, represents a challenge to the norms that allowed all of those things to be accepted. Like or loathe the election outcome, but what I am trying to say is it represents a change, and change represents opportunity.
The left and liberalism must now take an honest and self-reflective inventory of where it is at and what direction it needs to travel in.
All of this may sound very overly optimistic, I know.
2016 has been a time of upheaval, growth, lessons learnt and potentially cataclysmic change to the world .Yet for the first time in many years, my feeling is that 2017 can and will be a time that we see more positive changes in the world.