You Don’t Need a Weatherman…

You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the winds are blowing. Including the cultural winds. (A nod to Bob Dylan for this tip.)

A shift in the cultural winds can affect your outlook and sense of possibility as surely as the weather. Especially if you’ve been dealing with headwinds far too long.

Fortunately for change-makers, the cultural winds are shifting in favour of peace, justice and equity. The signs are everywhere. Think of Pope Francis’ continuous exhortations against the ‘globalization of indifference’ and the ‘culture of waste.’ Think of young Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai defying the Taliban and becoming a champion of peace and education for girls. Think of the worldwide outburst of ingenuity described as social enterprise. Think of the Paris Climate Agreement, which would not have happened without a strong grassroots climate movement. Think of the food democracy movements nurtured by Vandana Shiva: seed preservation, alter-globalization and protection of the family farm. Think of autism advocates who are reinventing the concept of ‘disability.’ Think of the international momentum for a guaranteed annual income. Think of reconciliation in Canada.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had such a groundswell of determined action.

More and more people are speaking out and linking up. They see themselves as part of something bigger than themselves. They are rising above fear, cynicism and pessimism. They know there are forces out of their control. They also know there are many choices within their control.

You can almost hear their collective declaration: We need one another. We have a shared responsibility for others and the world. Being good and decent is worth it.

The implications are strategic. We can do more than fix the messes created by the ‘iron rule of the economy.’ We can stop playing defence – preventing further cutbacks and preserving the minimum sustainable infrastructure. We can now advocate for the boldest rendition of the world we want.

If you think yourself becalmed it may be time to trim your sails to the shifting cultural winds. They’ve got your back.


…peace is not so much the absence of war but the presence of justice.

Ursula Franklin

Music this post is Bobcaygeon by The Tragically Hip. Listen here. Purchase here.

“‘cause it was in Bobcaygeon where I saw the constellations reveal themselves one star at a time”

Blessings to Gord Downie.


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