Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Blessed Unrest

The latest book I am reading which is inspiring me is "Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming" by Paul Hawken. The book is about the growing environmental and social justice movement which he sees as a diverse collection of human beings who are united by a vision of a hopeful future for our planet. As such, they are acting as a sort of "immune system" to address the ills of an unhealthy society and heal the relationship between humanity and the Earth. Environmentalism and human rights are intrinsically connected because "Life is the most fundamental human right, and all the movements within the movement are dedicated to creating the conditions for life, conditions that include livelihood, food, security, peace, a stable environment, and freedom from external tyranny." (Hawken, page 68).

I'll summarize a few highlights which impacted me. When discussing the history of the movement, Hawken emphasizes that choices have been made at every step of the way which may have seemed insignificant at the time but directly influenced the course of history, for example Rosa Parks refusing to go to the back of the bus. He explains that we face such "forks in the road" every day, and "life is permeated with possibility at every instant. What distinguishes one life from another is intention, the one thing we can control". Also, there are no "inconsequential acts, only consequential inaction". (Hawken, page 84, 85).

Hawken also writes about a clock being developed, the Clock of the Long Now, which will keep accurate time for ten thousand years and chime once a millenium. It symbolizes an optimistic vision for the future, that people will be here ten thousand years from now to hear it chime. "Indeed, it is an attempt to restore human imagination to the very idea of a future". (Hawken, page 154).

So, if we have a belief in the future and we have belief that our intentions can have influence, what can we do? One resource that Paul Hawken and others have developed is Wiser Earth (http://www.wiserearth.org/), an online database designed to serve as a networking forum to connect organizations and individuals "addressing the central issues of our day; climate change, poverty, the environment, peace, water, hunger, social justice, conservation, human rights and more." (quotation from the website). I find it to be a wonderful resource to find opportunities for service and also to contribute one's own ideas.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Free Hit Counters
Free Counter