Conventional Order Passes Best Before Date

Circles have no corners; ends and beginnings flow smoothly from one to the other, yet, I can't help but think that the end of the Mayan Calendar can mark the beginning of a new purpose for humanity.

A new era is due. Serious problems are growing around natural resource depletion and waste, revealing that the goal of perpetual economic expansion is past its "best before" date. As a species, humanity is now grown up. Not that we act it, with our Peter Pan attitude that we can grow forever and that Mother (Nature) will somehow provide everything we want and clean up all of our mess. Even the present economic stagnation suggests that the human project is full grown. The Earth does not have enough to offer for us to double our activity in the next twenty years, let alone double again over the generation following that.

How about we regard the end of the Mayan Calendar, on December 21st, as the beginning of humankind's adult phase? A phase where we acknowledge that our planet, tho wonderfully abundant, is nevertheless finite, and where we take responsibility for living safely within its physical bounds.

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Not to expect too much from a calendar date, here is a back-up plan:

December 10th begins the turn around toward longer days . . .


Relief is felt by many as the days get longer following Winter Solstice.  The change is subtle, taking a week or more before casual observers can feel the difference.

Solstice has been celebrated since ancient times as an opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate the roles that the Earth and Sun play in our lives.  When Christmas came about, Peace and Goodwill were added to the seasonal celebrations to acknowledge and appreciate the stability and strength that those qualities provide to our communities.  (More recently, observing Giftsmas has come to dominate the season, in testimony to the role that consumption plays in the Faith of the Bottom Line.)

From the earlier era, our extraordinary human ability to perceive and understand is evident in Little Christmas (Epiphany), on January 6th. Even after the days start getting longer, the before-noon mornings continue getting shorter until January 6. We humans noticed this and noted it on that date. We figured it out before telescopes or clocks.

At the other end of the season, the afternoons begin growing on December 10th.  We must have noticed this too, but it doesn't have a name. So let's name it now, perhaps "Cyclemas" (or, suggest a name) and we might hold it to represent humanity's inevitable shift in goals from the growth objective of our long collective childhood and adolescence, to one of responsible stewardship. When we acknowledge that our Earth is finite and accept responsibility for living within those limits, the human family will have come of age.  Thinking of this as we complete the decent into darkness and begin emerging toward the new year, we can nudge our society in that direction.

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Providing a foundation to for helping to bring about such a shift in society's goals is the intent of our free mini-course:

We hope you will join us in the effort to reframe what it means to be a good human-being - from earning and spending as much as possible to living lightly, enjoying life and managing the material world in a way that respects the needs of the children and grandchildren.

"The goals we pursue are the seeds from which our future grows."

See: The Challenge and the Goal
Sustainability Project/7th Generation Initiative