Finding Hope in Todays World
In today’s world, the earth’s ecosystem and humanity are in an expedited phase bringing much chaos, while struggling with resilient adaptation. Recent research has shown that ancestral history and intergenerational trauma have a quantifiable impact on human genetics and the environment, causing underlying vulnerabilities directly influencing one’s development and behavior. We are at a precipice of generation upon generations of unintegrated collective traumas, where fragmentation and isolation permeate all of the systems of ecological and human development.
Hope lies within these same systems. There is an innate ability to persevere towards harmony. The Gaia principle is a theory that proposes an interdependent connection between biological and environmental evolution. According to the Gaia principle, planet Earth is a biosphere that includes perpetual interactions between both biologic and non-biologic entities that persist with the ability to create homeostasis and self-stabilization.
We can see that ecosystems often have an inherent ability to self-stabilize, and we know we wouldn’t be here if the planet hadn’t maintained conditions suitable for life for almost 4 billion years. One reaction is to claim that some Earth-wide equilibrium, though fragile, does exist, and reflects the fact that species have evolved to cooperate with one another. (Aeonmag, n.d.)
Complexity is unavoidable. The inherent truth to persist and interact, in a hastened, modern fragmented world begins with collective effort, unifying through differences and mutual understanding. Navigation requires seeing connections that were previously invisible and misconstrued. Whether we move from the inside out, or from the bottom up, or even find practices to hold beliefs and behaviors, individual organisms are adaptable to others and to the community. Making meaning from within, into the outer world becomes substantiated, evident, and visible, and therefore able to bridge again. This fundamental truth jettisons collective healing towards making meaning, strengthening community resilience, and energizing systems toward positive change.
Resilience is built into the very cells of our bodies. It is as much a part of us as our ability to heal. Like trauma, resilience can ripple outward, changing the lives of people, families, neighborhoods, and communities in positive ways. (Menakem, 2017, p. 55)
Human, natural and community organisms have this shared capacity. Human senses and physical systems, wetlands, and natural ecosystems move instinctively toward equilibrium. Greater than the sum of its individual parts, this can only be done in connection. Within this matrix lies the inherent ability to interact and strive toward balance and wholeness. It is in the belonging.
By restoring the interconnection between self and other, the collective resilience persists toward healing adaptations, creating new behavioral and social norms.
Excerpts cited by blog authors book:
St. Thomas, B., Sheffield, M. & Johnson, P. (2024). Collective Trauma and Human suffering: Energizing Systemic Change through Collective Healing Action. Cognella Press: San Diego.
Aeonmag. (n.d.). The Gaia hypothesis reimagined by one of its key skeptics: Aeon essays. Aeon. Retrieved May 4, 2022, from https:// aeon.co/essays/the-gaia-hypothesis-reimagined-by-one-of-its-key-sceptics.
Menakem, R. (2017). My grandmother’s hands: Racialized trauma and the pathway to mending our hearts and bodies. Central Recovery Press.