Before anything significant can happen, it first has to be imagined. A world without slavery had to be imagined before the abolition movement could exist. A world where women are equal to men had to be imagined before women were eventually granted the right to vote. A new year has that ‘anything can happen’ kind of feeling. In that spirit, here is the perfect world of my imagination, an invocation to make it so.

Imagine that we wake each morning to the sound of birdsong. Bird numbers have returned to preindustrial numbers and their trills, warbles and whistles fill the air as they welcome the new day.

Imagine we rise each morning with our hearts full of compassion and not greed, full of wonder and not cynicism.

Imagine starting each day with a wholesome breakfast of food that we’ve grown in our own small gardens or was produced locally.

Imagine living in communities where people have access to smooth-running transit as we head to work and school. Even better, imagine communities designed with safe walking and biking trails for easy commuting.

Imagine that everyone is employed in work that contributes in a meaningful way to society, and that we enjoy doing over a four day work week.

Imagine that everyone has discovered their passions, those things that bring us joy without harming ourselves, others, or the planet. And imagine we can all find time each day to pursue these passions, whether they are playing sports, making music, art, cooking or any of a million other interests. May we also have time each day to care for our families, friends and people in need.

Should we become unwell, imagine that the medical system will be there to meet our needs, from consultation, to tests and treatment.

Imagine that News programs share only good news, of how mankind has worked together to solve the problems of the past; the climate crisis, crime, homelessness. Imagine that we hear of advances made in medicine, see newsreels of animals that have returned from the brink of extinction, see farming practises that are not industrial but employ the maintenance of rich soil to ensure there is adequate food for future generations. Imagine an end to animal agriculture as, collectively, we agreed that it was an unnecessary and cruel practise. We use those empty pastures to grow crops and no one on the planet goes to bed hungry as there is now a surplus of food and water.

Imagine that the oceans are teeming with fish again and the islands of plastic garbage shrink fast as we no longer use single-use plastic and we’ve found solutions to clean up the mess of past generations.

Imagine the air is clean as all forms of transportation have switched to wind and solar power. With global warming halted, the destructive storms, heat waves, droughts and forest fires have returned to pre-industrial levels.

Imagine people practising their religions peacefully, respecting the rights of others to practise theirs for we recognize that spiritual enquiry is about our interior world and how we are linked to all other beings and the whole universe.

Imagine that any advertising for fast fashion, throw-away toys and consumerism in general is a thing of the past. Instead we see and hear ads that direct people towards fitness classes, concerts, sporting events, volunteer opportunities to name but a few. The criteria for advertisements is that they must support meaningful endeavours that do no harm.

Imagine the elderly, if not cared for by their families, have access to comfortable, well-appointed senior’s homes.

Imagine that we fall asleep at the end of each day, realizing that true wealth is not measured in money or possessions, but in the health of our communities and relationships.

And, at the end of each day, imagine that we each spend a few minutes counting our blessings as we pray that this beautiful new world is not just a figment of our collective imaginations.


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