But the tide of fear and greed threatening the future of our planet (and our species) is hard to contemplate without anxiety, even at the best of times. Abandonment of the human obligation to ensure a better future for life on this planet- the only one we have- is already confronting us with difficult changes and choices, and will force upon us many more.
When my CBD flares up, I see every single challenge confronting all of humanity as my personal responsibility. It becomes a personal failing if I can't, don't, won't, take costly, sacrificial action on each and every one. What have I done today, to deal with bullying, the water quality crisis, human trafficking, desertification, factory farming, gun violence, illiteracy, impending honeybee extinction, misogyny, corruption in FIFA, market volatility, child labor, toxic waste from discarded tech devices, the state of the ozone layer, fracking, economic inequity, religion used to justify oppression and violence, addiction, anti-immigrant violence... and a hundred more human-related evils?
I must be a terrible person, I haven't put much of a dent in any of them. For one thing, I just don't see "signing Internet petitions" as an effective strategy. Especially after signing one at the urgent request of a friend resulted in me having to delete dozens more requests for signatures by various Internet petition sites from my inbox on a daily basis. My charitable donations are a drop of water against an endless burning desert and they're probably being misused by corrupt charity-scammers, anyway.
A lurch to the other side of the causeway beckons. Maybe all those evils are overstated, exaggerated, magnified by conspiracy theories. Maybe they're All Part of An Aeon's Evolution, and in the screen of history will be revealed as Fairly Small Potatoes. Perhaps what I really need to do is focus on my beautiful mind, light a Power Candle and clear my chakras to a soundtrack of "Don't Worry, Be Happy!" Look on the Bright Side, and the Dark Side will melt away, or at least, be someone else's problem, not mine.
Because if I can never do "enough," what's the point of doing anything?
Yep, that's the voice of the Jerkbrain. The dance has lurched and ultimately limped to a halt, and I'm at a standstill here on the causeway between the fountains of toxic sparkly rainbows and the bubbling of the apocalyptic slime inferno. Sigh.
Who decides if I'm "doing enough?"
Who decides if I'm making the "correct" choices about which challenges to put my effort into?
Who made me responsible for the outcomes?
Same answer to all three questions: Unsanity.
If I rely on my own sense of "what's enough," or which choices are "correct," it's always going to be vulnerable to my brain physiology. And that will be affected by the weather, how much sleep I've had, what else is going on in my life, and all the uncountable variables that are related to my Chronic Brain Disorder.
The good, orderly direction of the Steps reminds me that I'm responsible for the effort, and a Power Greater than myself is responsible for the outcome.
I worry that honey bee extinction will lead to the extinction of humanity, but how do I know that some brilliant science or unknown natural phenomenon won't happen to avert that extinction? How do I know that even if the honeybees die off altogether, alternate pollinators won't move in and fill the gap? Maybe humans will suffer greatly, but learn from the experience, and find ways to do better with other species.
The assumption that I know, for certain and in detail, how any one of the looming challenges will turn out (much less all of them) is rooted in ego. All I'm responsible for is using the heart and the intellect I have, to process the information presented to me with critical thinking skills, and respond in a way that rejects fear, is based in empathy, and employs kindness. It may be something as insubstantial as a consistent, persistent effort of focused prayer. It may be something as difficult as changing an important life choice, one that demands I learn to live differently. It may be something that requires taking a risk, or making a sacrifice.
Whatever it is, it is my choice, and the effort is all I'm responsible for. If I am making effort, I must have trust that it will be enough, it will be focused where it is needed, and it will be part of the outcomes I cannot necessarily see or control, but which are under the care of a Power Greater than myself.
That's the music. The dance resumes. The causeway goes on.