I live most of the year in Ashland, Oregon, a small town of about 25,000 people. It’s a terrific, beautiful, slow paced place. I also spend 3 to 4 months a year in the megatropolis of some 15 MILLION people and I just recently realized something, something that sort of woke me up to a different way of seeing So Cal.
First, I grew up in So Cal. I had a great childhood, very Ozzie & Harriett middle class. My mom was a stay at home mom. I had a brother, a sister, a paper route. I walked to school and rode my bike to the beach. Life was by all accounts good.
Here’s what I realized- today things are better… the air is cleaner, the water is cleaner, both in the rivers and the ocean, the streets are cleaner, even the crime rates are lower. The streets and freeways are more efficient, there are many more businesses serving many more wants and needs of the residents, the suburbs are more ethnically diverse and it seems to me that people are even friendlier.
This recognition that nearly everything is better in So Cal today than when I grew up here 50 years ago kind of floored me. I was driving 65 miles per hours on the 405 freeway, looking past the buildings and homes at the San Gabriel Mountains on the other side of the basin. I was wowed!
When I stopped to consider that the population in LA and Orange County has grown by at least 30% adding at least 3 million more people it only makes it that much more impressive.
We humans are amazing! They ways we find to serve one another is staggering. The ways we have managed our resources, and conflict, and growth, are all incredibly impressive.
In the day to days of our lives it’s very easy to lose sight of just how amazing we really are. We adapt. We respond. We help. We thrive.
So in the macro view So Cal is getting better. What about us individually, the micro view? How are we doing… if we are truthful and objective with ourselves? How is our lifestyle? Our car? Our TV? Phone? Computer? Healthcare? Has our lifestyle as individuals become better over time? How about our relationships? Our psychology? Have we become happier and more content as individuals?
My answer to these things is yes. The car I’m driving now puts out less pollutants driving 65 miles per hour than my old Datsun truck did parked! It leaked oil.
All indications are that everything is going to be OK… in fact; I believe that the societal and individual evolution coupled with our current Spiritual Renaissance is going to enter us into a period of transcendent interconnectedness that is coupled with complete acceptance of personal responsibility for our personal life experience and deep compassion and social responsibility that comes from recognized connectedness. Exciting!!!
We are arriving!