America, I love you, and sometimes when we lose our way it hurts. Bad. It seems on all best accounts us American’s have lost our North Star, or maybe we’re simply waking up to the idea that we now need a new, brighter one.

It seems for a long time, a very long time throughout the past several hundred years, we’ve focused on industrialization, and in doing so we’ve gained so many things like running water, education, and homes to live in, as well as a large overflow of goods of every nature, and food, so much food. All along the way we’ve experienced tremendous loss as well through some of the methods we utilized to profit such as slave labor, child labor, low wage jobs, gender pay inequality, and eventually the outsourcing of domestic production to foreign countries where we could continue the old ways of paying little to profit. The irony, if we can call it that, is someone always pays. Heard that before?

But really, how many wooden spoons do we each need? T-shirts, plastic cups, or shoes, how many of those do we need? And what is the real price we pay for their easy purchase?

I have seen that we often put our material advancement ahead of our own evolution as human beings and get lost in the process. I’d say we’ve lost our way again to a degree. And we all know the stories of what some people will do for money. Please, I’m no exception. People do all kinds of crazy things for money, sometimes harmful things, and in the end we can take none of it with us to that next place, whatever we might believe.

Our new focus, or north star, it seems to me, must be, and this is essential, a focus on the true well-being of ALL PEOPLE, valuing each other above materialism with the recognition of the interconnectedness of all of God’s creatures.

It’s time to move from just surviving to thriving, a state I believe we are all capable of creating. And when there is an absence of possibility, real or imagined, I believe we need to find ways with our vast resources to assist in lifting one another in an effort to nurture hope and a real sense of possibility. I know we all can relate because we’ve all had our moments, it’s just that some people’s moments can seem to last a lifetime.

My feeling is this re-alignment and re-focusing will have to take place in order for us to heal so much of what now ails us now. And there is a lot going on right now. Fear, and a lack of a sense of safety seem to be at the core. How can we all create a sense of safety for ourselves – all of us? We will need it to survive, and we will most definitely need it to thrive.

A focus on caring for one another and for the human spirit is a first step.

My intention for the foreseeable future is to share in my blogging, podcasting, and vlogs what I consider to be my ingredients for thriving in the modern world, as well as bringing in other experienced travelers to share their experience. I hope you’ll join me on this adventure. And please know I have tremendous faith in our ability to handle what’s before us, connecting with our collective strengths and our hearts as we journey to creating a well-lived and love filled life in the world. This world. Our world. Together. All of us. Thriving.

Barry Alden Clark is a writer and professional life coach. His work is focused on helping people live their best lives by acting as a guide for them to connect more deeply with their internal life force where creativity, purpose, and true freedom reside, while using humor, compassion, and kindness as hallmarks for the process of personal evolution. Recently Barry published his first book, “Living Life Now: Ingredients for Thriving In The Modern World,” now available on Amazon, and launched his new podcast “Living Life Now,” available on iTunes, Spotify and Google Music. You can reach Barry at

Image courtesy of Mindaugas Vitkus.