The world is on fire – but I see it differently

“The world is on fire!” That is the battle cry of our generation – heard from all four corners of the earth. It triggers urgency. Sometimes rage. Maybe even panic. Definitely a sense of fear. Or worse, apathy.

It is so easy to slip into hopelessness or blame. But I do not want to go that way. I want to develop capacities in me so that I can actively shape and co-create  with others a better world for generations to come.

Having met so many young people at the “YIP Initiative Forum 15: Spark to Flame” last February (as well as older ones! ), I believe that there are many of us just like that. Us choosing to find the silver lining – the glimmer of hope – no matter how dim the night sky gets. Us cultivating that spark within to be “the change we wish to see in the world”, as Gandhi poignantly encouraged us to do. And us finding others who we could work with in courageously building a more humane and sustainable future.

This is also what inspires me about Planetary Service as a collaborator from the World Social Initiative Forum. Now more than ever, we need as many “sparks of flame” to make the impossible a reality – a world that upholds the free unfolding of each individual; a society that safeguards equality, mutuality and diversity in the realm of rights; and a future where everyone earnestly asks each other, “what do you need and how can we support?”. I see the potential of Planetary Service as a global movement – inspiring a shift from “a disconnected and me-only culture” to “a culture of connection and being of service to the world”.

The world is on fire. To a certain degree, yes, it is. But I see it a bit differently. The world is on fire not only because of the myriad of crises that led us to this global emergency we are in. The world is also fired up because of a new consciousness that emerged out of it. We now realize that we cannot go on the same way as before, “business as usual”. We are fired up because we are yearning for change. Fired up by many initiatives working in the grassroots who are finding ways of enabling social change despite the dire contexts in many regions worldwide. And yes indeed, the world is fired up by the many “sparks” within every individual striving every day to be the change themselves.

Many are finally waking up and lighting their potential for the benefit of the whole world we call our home. How about you – do you want to join?

By Nicole Asis

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