Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blessed Unrest

I have been reading Paul Hawken's (of Smith & Hawken) book, Blessed Unrest, How the Largest Movement in the World Came Into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming, and wanted to share some ideas from it.

If you look at the science that describes what is happening on earth today and aren't pessimistic, you don't have the correct data. If you meet people in this unnamed movement and optimistic, you haven't got a heart.

From conversations with Native American people: The way we harm the earth affects all people and how we treat one another is reflected in how we treat the earth.

Inspiration is not garnered from the recitation of what is flawed; it resides, rather, in humanity's willingness to restore, redress, reform, rebuild, recover, reimagine, and reconsider.

People are not always literate or educated; and I would add: in specific areas of knowledge.

Altruism, work on behalf of strangers,....has very practical 18th century roots. Abolitionists were the first group to create a national and global movement to defend the rights of those they did not know. It is not a liberal or conservative activity; it does not require saintliness or political party.

The Internet and other communication technologies have revolutionized what is possible for small groups to accomplish and are accordingly changing the loci of power.
...Until recently it has never been possible for the entire world to be connected.

America has been home to some of the most important progressive efforts in history: women's suffrage, abolition, civil rights, food safety.....

Hawken acknowledges his western perspective and simply states that it is the culture that he comes from and goes on to point out that this movement is worldwide and that many, many cultures are doing great things and they are not to be over looked. He gives examples in the intro and throughout the book.
The Germany the green movement became an organized political party and now hold positions at the highest echelons of government.

The environmental movement began in the UK as a series of public health campaigns during the Industrial Revolution.

South Africa is inextricably bound to social justice issues embedded in the country's history.

Long ago small, seemingly inconsequential actions took place that eventually changed the world-outcomes the original actors might never happened. In a time when people feel powerless, a history of altruism can be a balm because it reveals the power of helpful and humble acts, a reminder that constructive changes in human affairs arise from intention not coercion.

It looks like a worthwhile read for sure. Check it out!
And from me:
One's actions do not have to be grand to affect change. All change happens locally.

Do something good today.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Giving Back, President Clinton and KIVA

While checking out one of my former student's blogs I came across a post titled "giving back". In a book by president Clinton on giving an organization named KIVA is profiled. Check it out at: