Manifesto for the Beautiful Struggle
After years of pandemics, climate crisis, civil war, and suicides
the food stopped growing, the oil stopped flowing,
and the sky darkened under a blood moon.
The earth weeped.
The animals spoke.
The people had become soft
languishing in technological wonders
and addictions to false joy.
But he Tetons stood tall
and the people who loved them organized.
They turned to Shoshone and Arapahoe elders,
to farmers and ranchers,
to teachers and survivalists,,
to the women and children,
to the mountain guides,
to their intuitive dogs and horses,
to the native animals and plants,
to the spirits of the adventurers who died here,
to their troll and the fairies and sprites who came out of the woods, and
to the storms and the stars and the moon.
Some meditated, some prayed
some paddled, some summited.
They stopped talking at the same time
and listened to tears of voices unheard.
They touched, they hugged, and
looked into the eyes of the elk on the Refuge.
With enhanced awareness, courage, and optimism
they stopped breathing the toxic smoke of
fundamentalism, perfectionism, competition
tribalism, celebrity, and unfettered growth.
Time was short, the world was watching.
With quiet resolute actions, a new generation
with audacity and humility
chose to make a difference over making money.
Built on the collective knowledge of
remarkable humans who came before
nature and society united
under immutable laws of the universe
to balance, to protect what languished
In order to flourish.
A Grand Sacrifice, they let nature manifest the way.
To visit or live here required signing a manifesto committed to
treat Mother Earth as a responsibility, not a resource,
and to ensure the mental, spiritual, and physical health of others.
They reimagined technology, business, and government
and harnessed environmentally sustainable capitalism.
One in, one out. Money no longer the currency for access;
only love for nature, adventure, and hard work could buy in.
Through a lottery, anyone with the right intention could visit
Paid for by market incentives ground in moral values.
The ones who stayed would do anything
for their fields and livestock,
for the feel of powdered snow on their eyelashes,
for the discovery of a chanterelle,
for the thrill of whitewater,
for the sight of a speckled fawn,
to meditate and paint at sunrise,
to dance under summer stars,
for the sweet purple kiss of a child eating huckleberries, and
the shimmer of a trout slithering through their fingers.
They slowed down, stopped competing with each other.
They grew their own food and fed the community.
They bathed in the forests, rivers, and meadows of wildflowers.
They reconnected their families, repaired broken hearts.
The rich opened their homes to the workers and artists
Shared their sporting equipment, vehicles, and tools.
Their schools prioritized agriculture, arts, critical thinking, stewardship, and play;
churches preached only compassion, tolerance, inclusion
The children played lacrosse and skied with friends from the Wind River.
Fun became the ultimate luxury.
Everyone agreed to a tax in human effort —
heroic acts across the community
daily choices to serve others.
Junk food and plastic were rare, the recycling center grew
the dump overgrew with larkspur.
The sick never went uncared for,
the differently-abled found meaning,
the elderly were kept engaged and active
they buried and burned the dead without chemicals
regenerating the circle of life for eternity.
Visitors experienced living in the moment —
a digital detox,
memories their only souvenirs.
Once here their magic devices were disabled
they hand-picked their experiences
before they hopping on free solar-powered bikes or
underground bullet trains to get around to the adventure of their choosing.
Clean food, meditation, massage, adventure, music, art,
homegrown beer, huckleberry ice cream, elk minion, morel pasta,
and a connection with nature was on the menu.
They visualized themselves in the shoes of those they hoped to serve
and focused on individual goals
only after serving the community and the land.
The highest honor bestowed on those with wealth
went to those who gave it away.
Acceptance, respect, and love
was based on what they gave, not money, power, or fame.
The greedy, the egotistical, and the extractors, were driven out.
Determined fools were punished but not executed
and gently taught correctness.
Connection replaced consumerism,
purpose replaced profits,
sustainability replaced selfishness,
the workers were no longer simply inputs.
They met the present with an open mind
and as the earth healed, they healed themselves
Visitors returned home, inspired to share what they learned.
The environment no longer their personal domain
they always gave more than they took
and grew rich in spirit and joy.