Recently divers saved a fisherman off the coast of Nigeria who survived the shipwreck that killed everyone else on board. Harrison Okene had been underwater for three days, living inside a giant air bubble 100 feet beneath the surface.
It’s a miracle, and a fascinating metaphor. Bubbles burst. Fortunately, Okene was rescued before it did. We had a real estate bubble that burst awhile ago, and an economic bubble. It seems that we live inside bubbles, artificial comfort zones that enable survival, but only for so long.
Christmas is a bubble. The whole production, which these days is largely a commercial enterprise that gives shop keepers their biggest retail sales days of the year and, in some cases, extends their survival, is really one massive distraction.
We can celebrate and forget for awhile that civilization itself is rapidly becoming a survival bubble. Cities are going bankrupt, running out of water. Temperatures are soaring, species are going extinct at record rates. How long until this bubble bursts? And who’s going to rescue us?
Environmentalists keep sounding the alarm and corporations keep paying off politicians to delay regulations that might inhibit profit making. It’s a nightmare that some people are awakening from, bursting their own bubble of delusion, and finding ways to make a positive difference.
And, of course, that’s where it begins, with a personal awakening. Wouldn’t that be the best gift we could give ourselves this Christmas?