The 21st Century Mayan Story Is Beautiful

From 2009-2010, when I worked at the computer lab in South Los Angeles, we ran a program called TechLink to provide intense technical training to disenfranchised youth. These young people were lost in systems of school, criminal justice, family and workforce. They were the most diverse ‘inner city’ ‘at risk’ people you’d ever meet. For our intake, we asked creative questions in an attempt to discover their stories. When asked what their five-year dreams were, many of them said they didn’t think they’d be here in five years because of the movie 2012.

But was it true? I questioned each participant who told me this. They shifted uncomfortably, offered a crooked smile or half shrug. Who knows. They never tell the whole story anyway. We’ll see when we get there, right? You see, despite the fearmongering of the movie 2012, these young people were still a bit curious. Even in that moment, there was a desire for truth. J.E. Parker eloquently tweets, “God designed our hearts to crave truth, and we’re unsettled until we find it.”

That was one of the first times I truly understood the magnitude of media and its role in shaping our lives. I had started Afrolicious about six months prior, with some moving target of telling our own stories as its goal. The Media, in all its capitalized glory, tells our stories to us in whatever way will make it the most money. And often, that means our truths are never told. And if our truths are never told, who will ever know of our full humanity? And we fear most the unknown.

And here we are, on the eve of another unknown. I remember the last eve of the unknown we had. December 31, 1999. The Media, again fearfully capitalized, had hyped the Y2K phenomenon to the max. Apple was selling its computers based on the fact that it could handle the change, while others were making survival kits and buying tons of water. I was sharing bunkbeds and rooms with my sisters then. y2kMy junior sister posted a notice on the wall in one of our rooms imploring us to get right with God because we wouldn’t know what would happen tomorrow. I know we all read it and traveled to the new year’s church service with the fear of God and man in our hearts.

Ah, fear. The more I live as fully human, honoring each part of my mind, soul and body as travelers on this ride, the more I realize how pervasive fear is. Our number one enemy, fear, is burrowed deeply into our psyches, manifesting its power in places where you least expect it. Science teaches fear evolved with us. Faith teaches we have conquered it. And it’s stories that move us from fear to faith, one word, image and sound at a time.

Below is part of the Mayan story, as told by 21st Century Mayans who have carried the teachings of their ancestors in their bones, literally. You’ll find the Mayan stories is grounded in humanity. You’ll find that it’s human beings that created the unfair, oppressive conditions that create global crises and that it’s human beings that will transform them. You’ll find we are agents of these changes, that we have the power to create whatever worlds we should dream. You’ll find nothing about apocalyptic, messianic raptures, but a call back to the earth and creating: everything opposite of our Media culture. Above all, there is no fear here, only a deep, rooted faith in humanity.

It’s an hour long, so get comfortable!