The Amazon is burning. Hurricanes are tearing countries apart. Gunmen mow down people and it seems like it barely even registers anymore.

It all just feels like too much. It feels like we are on the precipice of completely annihilating ourselves.

This may be true. But it’s also true that we seem addicted to feeling the world is coming to an end. We felt this way with Y2K. With the Cold War. With the Second World Water. With the Great Depression. And back and back.

It’s important to stay present to all the ways in which our world is threatened and to do what we can to protect it. But it’s also important that we remind ourselves of our own inclination to catastrophize. It’s important to remember that while we have endured many catastrophes, they have never quite destroyed us in the way we most feared. Because when we quell our despair and hopelessness, we have much more energy to actually build the world we want and need.

Published by Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA with his partner Sara, child Owen, and cat Winnie.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *