You think you can not change the world.

That you’re too small,

or it’s too late,

or that the problems are too big,

That you alone can not solve the world’s problems,

 

But you can,

We can,

Together.

 

For now is the time to pop some myths,

to see through their shiny

rainbows

which seem so certain

and yet

when poked or

prodded

pop

with a gentle splash of spit.

 

Pop the myth of continual growth,

of exponential GDP

that ignores the hidden debt

for generations hence,

of dead soil

stripped for strawberries in December.

Instead look to Bhutan measuring gross national happiness

and use that as a measure of your own wealth.

 

Pop the myth of separation,

that keeps us from our kith and kin,

which clears us from the land,

which fences

and encloses us in silos of similarity,

which perches us on a paper pyramid which is burning

and crumbling us in ashes into the sticky web of all that lives.

Instead thank the trees on your inhale for their oxygen and

exhale them the carbon dioxide they need;

and feel the intimacy of that gentle cycle,

appreciate its reciprocity

and tenderness.

 

Pop the myth that we can buy our way out of the mire

of ice sheets melting,

tube stations flooding,

Rivers rising,

forests burning.

Instead of consuming,

create, borrow,

go without,

share.

 

Pop the myth that we can consume our way to health,

that we can purchase youth with rat poison,

that we can eat our way slimmer if only we could find the right food.

Instead walk and talk with friends,

bend low to plant your soil,

carry shopping

in home made bags,

from local shops,

narrowing what you need,

to the weight you can bear.

 

Pop the myth of endless resources,

supermarket myths

of fully stacked shelves

the air-miles concealed in plastic,

the pesticides silently whispering

of ecocide.

Instead grow your own,

or support those who do.

Eat seasonal,

eat local,

eat less,

buy less,

work less,

spend more time with those you love.

 

Pop the myth

that someone somewhere else will sort it out,

that ‘they’ have the solutions to stop the icecaps melting

stop the sea waters rising

so that I can carry on

just the way I always have.

Instead make small changes,

reduce how often and far you drive,

cut down on meat,

try not to fly.

 

Pop the myth of individualism,

of survival of the fittest and fuck the weak.

Instead pay attention to the trees

communicating,

sharing sweetness

and serotonin

warning eachother of disease,

collaborating for the health of the forest not the single tree.

 

Pop the myth that humans control nature,

and step out into the storm,

feel the wind flay out skin into feeling,

feel the sunlight burn.

 

Pop the myth that profit benefits all,

allow yourself to see the sweatshop small fingers in darkness,

peel back the warehouse next door to you

to see people deducted wages on their toilet breaks.

 

Pop the myth of more,

that more is good,

more wealth,

more things,

more food,

more promotions,

more tasks,

more lovers,

more status, promotions,

more gold stars,

more high grades.

Instead consider what you will wish you had more of on your death bed.

My hospice bedside listenings heard,

wishes for,

or memories of;

love,

friendship,

laughter,

time,

nature,

health.

 

Pop the myth that wealth will insulate us,

we in the lucky, temperate climes,

have surely seen the fragility of

supply chains,

of panic buying,

of wading through a flooded Hampstead

the waters ignoring the postcode.

 

Pop the myth that the climate crisis won’t affect us,

that mass migration and civil unrest, that wars will not knock at our borders, our doors,

and wonder for a moment

what we would do if our children

had no food,

if our home were burned,

or flooded,

or wiped away in a mudslide.

Wouldn’t we migrate

and fight

and steal

and loot,

maim,

kill

to see our children safer?

Wouldn’t you move towards

the safer zones

where you and I sit now?

What affects one child,

affects all.

Look to share what you have with those who don’t.

 

Pop the myth that good parenting is,

Shiny plastic toys,

pretty clothes,

activities,

days out with ice-creams.

These are the places we hide

because we will not look our children in the eye

and claim the mess we will leave behind.

Our failure to acknowledge the rising seas

leaves them skilless,

lonely,

silenced,

denied

by those whose role was to protect them.

 

Pop the myth that there will always be enough food,

clean water,

fresh air

and consider how

untrue this already is for

millions on

this small globe.

And remember how this year a UK court

found the cause of death,

of a mother’s much beloved

twelve year old,

to be poor air quality

above this local soil.

 

Pop the myth of linearity,

of simple cause and effect,

of hierarchy and binary

and instead

see how nature

creates spirals,

circles,

tessellations,

webs.

Stop fighting and struggling to be the best and reach the top,

instead nurture your connections,

grow circularity,

reciprocity;

the health of one,

affects the health of all.

 

Pop the myth of life on mars,

of the great explorer,

Of

three millionaire heros.

Instead

see three small boys

wanking

to see whose egoic erection can last the longest

before shooting their load furthest into the deepest dark space.

Instead send them to their rooms to tidy up the mess

they have left behind.

 

Pop the myth that god will save us and look back in history to see how true that is.

Instead look back to the individuals who made the biggest change for good.

 

Pop the myths that women can’t lead,

that black is bad,

that gender is binary and biological,

that poor means stupid,

that they are different from us

and instead see the social structures which write and maintain those myths,

Be curious about the power of those who tell the tales,

their vested interests.

Investigate.

 

Pop the myth of the instant,

the quick,

the now, now, now.

Instead look back to see

how 200 years ago,

there were few factories,

no need for fossil fuel.

Look back to when we were young,

no mobiles, laptops,

most families had one parent who didn’t need to work.

Then look forward to see the world our children will

grow old in,

see their pain and anquish at what their children, your grandchildren,

will face.

See how there are choices,

see how humans can indeed

affect change.

 

Pop the trance of the screen,

of the stream

of endless

mindnumbing

social control.

Step out of the algorithms.

switch off,

stoke the cat,

walk your dog,

talk to your kids,

bake a cake,

read a book.

 

Pop the myth that the government will save us,

look back to history and see

that the only way that society changes,

was by individuals,

just like you and me,

standing up and saying;

‘no’.

‘No’ said Rosa Park, passing that ‘no’ onto Malcolm X and Martin Luther King.

‘No’ said Ghandi and walked to the sea.

‘No’ said the suffragettes.

‘No’ said the Ford Factory workers who fought for equal pay.

‘No’ says Greta Thunberg.

Join her.

 

Then pop the biggest myth of all,

that we are,

small,

individual,

powerless,

that there is nothing we can do.

 

This is the myth that is the biggest lie,

for myths are just stories,

which we have chosen to believe

and we have all outgrown James and his Giant Peach,

Or Jack and his bean stalk.

So we can outgrow these stories too.

 

Once we know how fragile and temporary a soap bubble is,

we can watch it float away,

knowing its insubstantiality,

know that it is temporary,

and will burst.

 

We don’t need to waste energy proving these myths wrong,

we just need to see through them,

to re-instate our disbelief,

and write ourselves new stories

of regeneration, restoration, inclusion and well-being for all.

 

At this tipping point,

we have the power

to re-write

what comes next,

pick up your pen,

and scribble,

the world

you want

for your grandkids,

then track the plot line

back to your desk

and change the way you shop,

live,

vote,

to a leave legacy

you are proud of.

 

To work with me get in touch through my site.  I have also produced lots of online materials (some of which are free) to suppport you.

If you already know this, but feel alone with that, overwhelmed, lost, or wanting to connect with other who also do, then email me either by replying to this email or using this one: julieleoni.com@gmail.com and let me know because I am convening circles of people as safe places to share feelings and build new stories together.  Some circles will be online and some locally.  I don’t have any more answers than you do, but I have a strong belief in the human heart and of our ability to imagine our way into regenerative, restorative new stories.

Julie

 

Thank you Jon Lydon for another lovely photo.