THE BLOG
10/26/2011 10:56 am ET Updated Dec 26, 2011

Occupying the Human Tribe: All 7 Billion

Humanity is about to reach another milestone. According to a recent United Nations report, sometime on Monday, Oct. 31, 2011, the world population will reach the seven billion mark. That is one enormous tribe!

Or perhaps you haven't noticed. Perhaps you've been so busy conducting the affairs of your own life, you didn't have time to look up and notice that humanity itself has been giving birth to the world in which we live.

Maybe you've been too worried about what's going to happen to you, your job, your home, your family and loved ones, to notice that the extended members of your tribe, the ones with different colored skin, the ones who speak a different language, the ones who honor different deities, the ones with different sounding names, wearing different colored costumes, the ones who eat plants and animals that would never end up on your plate, the ones who occupy this world along with you yet see it so differently, are struggling in ways that make your struggle look like, no offense, a cake walk.

Given our diversity, it's hard to wrap one's mind around belonging to a tribe with seven billion members. Yet that's what we have here. It's often been said there is nothing more unifying for a group of people than having a common enemy. Imagine that tomorrow Earth was invaded by aliens from another planet. Wouldn't you suddenly get that your fellow Earth beings are "your" tribe? Why wait for a common enemy in order to appreciate your true family?

When one considers the whole, it's difficult to see how any single individual in seven billion possibly matters. So bring it home a little closer. Consider this: The world is you, on steroids!

Here's another way to look at it:

Multiply your own hopes and dreams by seven billion and what do you get?
Multiply your own concerns and desires by seven billion and what do you get?
Multiply by seven billion every time you get angry or frustrated.
Multiply by seven billion all your upsets, resentments and judgments.
Multiply by seven billion your anxieties, fears, insecurities and lack of self worth.
Multiply your every harsh word or thought by seven billion.

What do you get? What kind of world are we creating for the seven billion of us?

How much time do you spend feeling grateful, expressing love or appreciating beauty?
How much time do you spend in silence or being peaceful?
How much time do you spend being generous, giving to others, making a difference?
How much do you love and appreciate yourself?
How much joy do you allow yourself?
How much freedom, creativity, passion and aliveness do you allow yourself?

The whole world is unfolding right here and right now, right where you are. And right here where I am. We are it. Like the song says, we literally are the world. And now, our world is home to seven billion of us, fumbling our way through life, doing the best we can.

Together. But thinking we're separate. And life is happening. It's unfolding itself through each of us. Some of what happens we like and want. Some of it we don't. When we get what we like and want, we think life is good and we're happy. When we get what we don't like and don't want, we think life sucks and we suffer. And so it goes.

This is how it is for our human tribe. And because what's happening in the world right now is not a very happy event for, let's say 99 percent of the tribe, the world doesn't feel like a very good place to be. And yet, here we are. Where else is there to go? We're stuck with this!

Or are we?

It's easy to say that what's happening in the world now is the government's fault, or the big banks' fault, or Wall Street's fault or it's the fault of the system, etc. And at one level, all those things are true. But let it not escape our attention that ultimately, we are the system.

We have what we've created, either through our ignorance, indifference, resignation, cynicism or our misguided trust. If we don't like what we have, it's up to us take our power back and get about the business of creating a world that works for everyone: all seven billion of us. Sound like a tall order? It is! Are we up for it? What's at stake if we don't? I'm betting on us.

Our home, this planet, is becoming smaller and smaller with every new addition to the tribe. The United Nations predicts that by the end of this century, the world's population will reach ten billion. Even though you and I won't be around to participate in the unfolding of life with our tribe at that time, today, right now, we are establishing the consciousness that is setting the table for future generations. Your grandchildren and their grandchildren will reap what we've sown.

Today, because people are getting married later and delaying having children, a generation is believed to be around 25 years. In earlier times, a generation was considered to be 20 years in length. So let's use 22 years as an average.

According to many Native American traditions, it is believed that each generation is responsible for insuring the survival of the seven generations following it. There is a whole Seven Generations movement around this philosophy. Whether or not you believe or subscribe to it, consider the possibility this is how it is.

Looking out seven generations from now, using the year 2011 as a starting point and an average of 22 years as the length of one generation, we're looking 154 years out to the year 2165. Using the current world population growth rate as a constant, we can expect our tribal family to number somewhere around 40 billion.

Our little, piddly seven billion member tribe is setting the table for approximately 40 billion people. Take that one in! You think we don't matter? Think again!

Is our collective consciousness today adding to the light or adding to the darkness on planet Earth? What are we doing to work toward a sustainable future for those who follow? Are we a burden or a source of inspiration for future generations?

Take it home and make it personal. And consider that future generations will be breathing the air and drinking the water we leave for them. As I asked in a previous post: Are We Being Good Ancestors? Are you being a good ancestor?

How are you occupying this human tribe? What are you bringing to the seven generations who follow? Please weigh in in the comment space below. We're listening.

And while you're at it, drop by my personal blog and website at Rx For the Soul or drop me a line at judith@judithrich.com. I welcome your personal contact.

Meanwhile, wishing you all a Happy World Population Day and a Happy Halloween! Boooo!

Blessings on the path.