Where were you when?
When everything was changing?
Where were you?
What were you doing?
I can imagine being asked that. Perhaps you can also imagine being asked that. The question may come in 30 years time, or 20 years time, or 10 years time or less.
Where were you?
I want to be able to answer that I was right there, doing my best to ensure the best outcome.
I want to be able to say that I did something unique, something different, something that only I could do; so that others could do unique things, different things, things that only they could do.
Where were you?
I was here, thinking about you, and about me, and about the future, and about the world. I was here. I am still here.
Changing times we are living in.
We can hear it.
We can see it.
We can smell it.
We can taste it.
We can feel it, in so many ways, that changes are happening, and more changes are afoot.
Today, it is "the occupation" or "Occupy Wall Street", and tomorrow it may be much more: a social change? a turning point? a revolution?
It is a sign of the times.
Here we are, at such a unique time in the story of Earth, where this one single species, and this one particular culture out of this one particular species has come to dominate, or perhaps over-run the surface of the Earth. Releasing carbon back into the air. Ripping and tearing at the land. Decimating the oceans. Doing so many horrible, almost unspeakable things.
Here we are.
We are part of the great machine of civilization.
And yet, like any machine, or more precisely, like any living thing; things are changing.
Oil, the blood energy of this civilization is failing, little by little, and we can see it, as the circulation no longer flows freely to the extremities, and we wonder... how much longer will it flow to us? how much longer will it flow to me?
Yes, promises, big, and small, and gargantuan, and minuscule, and in size beyond the limits of the imagination; promises are out there, in the forms of money, and credit, and debt.
This system of promises, mind you, promises fade in real life, as they are simply thoughts about the future, and all thoughts fade; and yet this civilization has a system of promises that does not fade, that is not rational, likely, or possible, and which must, eventually, fail, one way or another.
Few seem to get it.
Few seem to look at energy and promises as two things, one real and one fleeting, that are conspiring against this great machine.
Those looking at money, don't see debt.
Those looking at debt, don't see money.
Those looking at both, don't see their foundation in promise.
Those see this forget that promises depend on the energy to keep those promises possible into the future.
Stock and flow.
Stock and flow.
Money is like the global water cycle.
Rain falls around the world, at different times, in differing amounts. Then it pools; and it flows; and it pools; and it flows; and some evaporates; and some is absorbed; and some makes it back to the oceans and evaporates; or cycles down.
And this is how it is with money.
It too flows, and stocks, and flows.
It flows from the people (who make the promises), to other people, to the businesses, to the people, to the state, to the people, to the government, to the corporations, to the people, to the oil extractors, to the people, to the rich, to the people, and around, and around, and around. We could visualize it in our minds as an organism, and the money (or the credit) that flows is like the blood; or we could visualize the global water cycle, and the money flows, and stocks, like the water in the world.
And, perhaps something different, is that the money and the energy flow in the opposite directions.
The money for the energy, for the oil, for the gasoline, flows from the people, to the corporation, to the oil producers, to the banks, and around, and around.... while the energy, the oil, flows from the oil producers, to the corporations, to the people, and the buisnesses, and the governments, and the rich.
Two flows, moving in opposite directions.
Is this where the analogy between the flow of money, or energy, and the water cycle, or the blood inside your body, breaks down?
In our bodies, are there signals that tell our bodies where to direct the blood (the energy) that keeps all of our cells healthy?
But, it is not this simple, is it, because these are not the only two stock and flows that are going on.
There is also the debt. The debt that comes, either public or private, when money or credit are issued into the flow.
The public debt has ballooned, and this has altered the flow of money. Instead of flowing towards the people, the money is flowing towards the banks. And as the oil supply fails to grow as it had been growing, so too money flows more towards the oil producers, and less towards the people. And of course, all the others respond to this in the way that they know how, given their knowledge and understanding of economics, politics, and personal desire.
The debt, it too flows, as odd as that may seem. Sliced and diced into pieces and morsels; stocked here, and shot in a rapid flow over there, and so strange it is, but it does grow, and does grow, and this public debt it does grow.
But as the money to the people, the flow to the people, as that fails, and the debt burden grows, clearly, much of the debt will not be serviced in a way to keep people in their homes, and their cars, and in their lives.
And more promises.
Promises of "this is yours", whatever that really means.
The illusion of control over property, whatever THAT really means.
And the property stocks and flows as well, doesn't it? Moving from the public, to the private, and from the people, to the rich; and from the rich to the corporation, and the ownership stocks, and flows, and while I can barely visualize it, it is all part of this great machine, isn't it?
Where were you?
First of all, I was here.
I was trying to wrap my head around it.
I was trying to understand it.
I was trying to share what I thought I'd figured out. Because I know, perhaps better than most, that this life of mine is brief, and fragile, and a single sleeping person could end it on the freeway tomorrow, or in any other ways, knowable and unknowable to me.
And the occupation, and the Occupy Wall Street, and the people who just are angry because what they thought was going to be their life, well, it is not, and it is all changing in ways that they don't understand, and that they were never expecting.
There is a future.
It is a better future, for everyone.
And no, I am not thinking of something "beyond", but rather of something that we can indeed achieve, together, for our people, and for all of life.
There is a positive future out there.
Yes, it will be local, because we are quickly burning the oil, and it will run down much more quickly than it ran up.
Yes, it will be different, because we have changed the world. Or I should say, this great machine has changed the world. Or, perhaps, simply, that the world has changed. And, there is a different climate. And, the surface of the land, and of life, is now different.
But there is a positive future ahead; and a future I look forward to attaining, and am daily working to achieve, in advance of the great change.
Where was I?
I hope, one day, I can look back and can say, "I was there, and we were on the precipice, and the ridge was razor thin, but we saw the realistic destination, and we recognized in ourselves a way forwards, utilizing all of our strength, and our intelligence, and our emotion, and we each did something unique, that only each of us could do, and behold, here we are, and life is better than we ever imagined it could be; and I was there, and now you are here together with me."