I used to believe that we needed an alien invasion to unite the people on earth. If you sit on the tip of the crescent moon and gaze out at the big blue marble in all of its glory, you can see the logic. We share an amazing luscious world, and it makes sense that if an outside force threatened us as a species, we would realize how ridiculous it is for us to fight each other over land, money, and God. Greed and lust for power would fade in the distance as we battled a common enemy.
Then it happened. It didn’t show up in any of the ways we imagined like a giant spaceship slinking across our purple dawn while we slept. Instead, the coronavirus was an invisible tyrant that boldly flew right into our mouths, up our noses and into our blood. It was a full-blown, brilliant and cunning alien, blind to human social structures, cultures, and belief systems, and it completely shook my confidence that when push comes to shove, we will unite.
What an opportunity to prove that we are capable of putting our egos aside when a mysterious evil force threatens our existence! Although some came together on micro-levels, (thank you to all who served on the front lines), it did not unite us as earthlings, quite the opposite. We are farther apart than ever even though we all shared the same isolation, loss and fear at the exact same moment. I think about that a lot these days not only because of the uniqueness of the situation, but because we failed to step up as a species.
As our very existence was being shattered, we did not reach out to our human community. We did not show, on a world scale, that we care about each other. We argued about masks even when we had no idea about what we were dealing with. Our leaders fought each other over ideology and power. We competed for a defense against this invader instead of bringing together resources.
Is it not true that we all want the same things: love, peace, family, safety, food, water, air? Don’t we all want the best for the world in which we are raising our children, the world that we are preparing for them? What does this mean for them, their future, that air itself was politicized by the powerful will and perspective of a few? What will we say to them about the nature of human beings when they ask, what only a child can ask without being accused of being naïve, “Why didn’t we help each other?” I mean we all share the same air, the same sun, and the same moon.
Renny Run was born before the alien invasion on January 5, 2020 as a small by mighty way to encourage the little ones to believe in themselves early on, to see themselves in a positive future, and build a life towards that. By the end of 2020, I started to lose faith that I could reach those open to our idea because everyone was just struggling to survive. (First rule of starting a movement, don't launch during a pandemic.)
Today, I feel exactly the opposite. Renny Run was perfectly timed. Our messages and quirky characters lift up our children and remind us that on occasion naïveté or, I should re-phrase, idealism, is okay, even necessary, because it gives rise to hope. In spite of everything that has happened, I refuse to give up my hope that one day we will come together to save humanity, to save the earth, if for no other reason than to impress upon our children the importance of community and the strength it provides.
I look for light everywhere, but today I think about a funny little film from 1983 called Trading Places. Treat yourself if for no other reason than to laugh a little, shake your head say, “If only.”