Full: Calm astonishment at all the multitudinous, multi-species occurrences, chances, and couplings which led to your existence, stretching back to the very beginning of life, or even time. Sublime mindfulness that none of these sedimented happenstances necessarily needed to have happened and that, without them, neither you, nor anything you recognize, would exist today. Flowing from this, keen and urgent awareness that choices made now can have outsized impact on the spectrum of possibility concerning which futures can manifest next —of the shadow our current choices cast on all that comes hereafter– whether by maintaining choice or diminishing it, accumulating diversity or narrowing it.

A serene awareness of both the long arc that brought us here and a more urgent awareness of the outsized impact this moment, and choices made in this moment have on the future can act as a tonic to perpetuate empathy with future generations. The future is still plural, and we owe it to both our multi-species ancestors and descendants to keep it that way.

Short: A serene moment of awareness that amid the specter of a tumultuous, uncertain century – the future is (as of now), still plural.

Usage: Amid the rush of cars, the radio played news: war, drought, fire, floods, a homeless encampment evicted, a politician fostering anger, and the extinction of a frog that had been on Earth long prior to humanity. But as Jamie waited at the bus-stop holding their sleeping baby daughter, they saw a wildflower breaching a crack in the pavement, and in that moment felt a wave of serenteletonic. 

Origin: Richard Fisher, Xander Balwit, Thomas Moynihan in collaboration with The Bureau of Linguistical Reality 2023

Derived from:

Serene: Calm, peaceful 

Tele: to or at a distance

Tonic: a medicinal substance taken to give a feeling of vigor or well-being; invigorating

Cthonic: (pronounced very similar to ‘tonic’) which means ‘of the Earth’, in the sense of origins. 

Serendipity: the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

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