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What sort of spiritual and emotional challenges does Y2K present?

The strangeness, uncertainty and potential impact of Y2K are unprecedented. It is deeply disturbing in at least three ways:

So, at a personal level (as on the societal level), we find the Y2K crisis presenting us with both problems and oppportunities. Specifically:

a) Y2K is very hard to come to terms with. Each of us who encounters it, dances around it for quite a while before figuring out what to do with it. Often we experience months of roller-coastering in and out of intense anxiety. Those of us who see Y2K as an opportunity may find ourselves going especially high and low. The unconfrontability of Y2K makes it awkward to talk about with those who don't share our understanding of the problem. Some people will just brush it off, to our intense frustration. If someone was unaware of the threat, we may feel like we're messing up their lives by waking them up to it. And they may turn away from the subject (or us), or make fun of it (or us). And, if we want to motivate them to DO something about it in their communities, we often find they have been sent into a spin by their fear and confusion. It may take quite a while before they get their "Y2K sea legs" and can finally function in the face of such an unsettling future. These problems will be addressed more on the page "Understanding and dealing with the personal disturbances triggered by the Y2K issue."

b) Y2K offers an opportunity for individual and collective psychospiritual growth. We get pushed to our limits and then some, over and over, in endlessly new ways. We are (and will be) continually presented with intense choices: to grow very big or shrink very small, to break through or break down, to let go or be torn apart. The positive direction is often quite clear but exceedingly difficult. And sometimes it is unclear, and we must decide anyway. If we rise to the occasion, we will often (but not always) suddenly find ourselves larger, suddenly more able to make space for those who couldn't or wouldn't take the harder path, those who are struggling or suffering. Other time it may just feel like we are being broken down. It is a time of testing. The psychological and spiritual opportunities this presents will be addressed more on the page: "Using the Y2K challenge for individual and collective psychospiritual growth."

Ultimately, we are challenged to take the opportunity -- and the responsibility -- to build spiritual community with everyone we talk to about Y2K.

Also it is vital that faith communities and religious institutions involve themselves in dealing with Y2K, helping prepare congregations and empowering them to prepare their communities. One Unitarian Universalist minister, Rev. Dacia Reid, has begun asking the important questions, teaching her congregation about this momentous event, and tying Y2K in to her spiritual traditions and sacred texts.

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