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The power of the collective

How can we recognize this moment as an opportunity for evolvement?

a view from standing in front of an old abandoned bridge with plants growing over it as it juts out into a river
perhaps it's better this way. July 2019.

As I rise into my wakeful mind each morning, I become aware of the patterns of my consciousness. Some days are easier than others, which is to say I am able to flow more gracefully from one thought to the next. But the daily onslaught of reminders that I present to myself never fails to prepare me for the day’s global news.

To say that we are alive in interesting times would be akin to saying the Sistine Chapel has an interesting ceiling. Obvious, and yet not the most appropriate description. Whether you listen to podcasts, scroll Instagram, talk to your neighbors, or watch Fox News, you are getting your dose of the global consciousness. I’d like to talk about how we are all being affected by being alive right now and to call for a reclamation of the power hiding in how we choose to respond to “life on life's terms”.

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day reflecting on the experience of going to bar pre-COVID. We were speaking of the vibrancy of being in a room filled with people that were enjoying themselves. In contrast, when one attempts to go out to eat/drink nowadays, the shift in the atmosphere is almost tangible and most likely discernable. We were essentially speaking of the ways in which we are affected by the energies we are surrounded by.

I would like to take this example of going into a bar or restaurant and expand it to the experience of being alive on planet Earth. To think that we go through our days as isolated experiences is to limit the potentiality within us. I would like to offer this idea that we are being affected by the environment we find ourselves in perpetually. Whether that is within the intimate scale of being in the same room as 20 others or the global scale of being on the same planet as 7.8 billion others, we are indeed products of our circumstances. Circumstances, which depending on the scope, can be seen as shared. Within these frameworks, there is a collective empowerment that can be called upon to ease our lonely hearts, (not to assume).

It is highly bestowed by the Western ideology that we are all individuals capable of a success that caters to many concepts and -isms, namely: Meritocracy, Family, and Power.

However, somewhere in the blood that moves through our veins and the patterns lodged in our DNA, is the inescapable desire for union.

This concept of unity can be seen represented in many religions and philosophies. Here implies the duality of our globally shared circumstances. Most of us exist in a society that demands personal achievement over collective evolvement. Our basic needs have been commodified and patented. The underlying rule of money finds its way into all of our consciousnesses. Yet, in the depths of our being lies this impenetrable desire to unify. It is accurate to assume we have been bred to separate, other, exclude and differentiate. My ask is this:

What can we do to reclaim our collective power through our daily existence?

Let us begin by choosing to see the commonalities amongst our neighbors. We are all fighting a fight for freedom from life’s limits, and regardless of how different those fights look, we must acknowledge that at the end of the day most of us want to fall asleep with peace in our hearts.

The desire to have a reason to wake up and do it all again is both inherent and unique. Humans like to think they are the most advanced species because we have emotional brains and innovative technology, little do we know that the awareness of our very existence is potentially the slip that will become us. To access reason, we have developed mental models of success and security. These models have gone on to form the values of the world we live in. The development of societies into governable states has created a structure of reality to which the evolvement of the human species has become dictated by.

Where is our freedom in that?

Do you wake up and do the work that you do every day because that’s what fulfills your soul or because you are merely trying to survive here? Perhaps, you utilize your innate, creative, human tendencies, and simply adapt to the situations in which you find yourself. Everyone was born and raised by some situation that evolved into the story of their life. None of us chose how we would enter this world, and most of us won't choose how we exit. A beautifully unifying aspect of being human can be found in the temporal and transient nature of our being. It is no wonder why we search for meaning and get lost along the way. Our duty to ourselves is to find the freedom lurking behind every choice we make as our response to the forces of the environment in which we are both a product of and a contributor to and to do so while acknowledging that everyone else is trying their best to do the same.

Some days are easier than others. Some days the level of connectedness that we feel to the people in our lives or the ground beneath our feet is enough to keep us believing in something greater. Other days, the perpetual weight of necessity can squeeze the life right out of you. I invite you to reckon your own power in this game, and perhaps revision the ways in which we can all collectively support one another instead of racing each other to the highly anticlimatic finish line.



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Lylo Sy Trotta

Lylo Sy Trotta

User Experience Designer | Human-Centered | Service-oriented |