Choose Life

by Oct 31, 20210 comments

Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!”- Deuteronomy 30:19 

What does it mean to. choose life in these times–with COP26 underway, with the world knowing the climate crisis, and the accompanying crisis of spirit?

I see the top three “Climate” strategies as:

(1) Transform or dismantle the destructive systems and structures that are annihilating living systems, disproportionately affecting communities, indigenous lands and people of color, and perpetuating the release of carbon in the atmosphere and toxins into the biosphere

(2) Help preserve and regenerate living systems — living soils and natural habitats. Actions to:
–Enhance native biodiversity;
–Rehydrate the landscape–i.e. Store water in the soils preventing further degradation (repair Water Cycle);
–Draw down /sequester carbon from the atmosphere into the soils by repairing nature (repair Carbon Cycle).
–Save keystone species (like trees)

(3) Help activate the latent energy in humanity to do one or both of the above

–also includes the concept of Human reciprocity–giving rather than just taking–creating a circular economy with the surrounding ecosystems

Environmentalists essentially assert that “ignorance” is the reason humans don’t prioritize creating a future (or a more beautiful future).

What if most people consciously or unconsciously know how dire things are… and are paralyzed by it?  Environmentalists typically appeal to their logic “why would we not…” when the reasons we don’t prioritize are deeply emotional. Knowledge has little to do with making a choice to act or change. Many people conclude with “we are doomed” and follow with “whats the point?”

Because the environmental movement assumes rationality– it has largely failed spectacularly in last 70 years, at least by the only measure that matters: has humanity’s trajectory changed?  Most humans respond as they do to the knowledge that they themselves die–with denial or worse, despair.  They choose death instead of life.  

As i see it: HOW WE ENGAGE PEOPLE, how we transform from paralysis to action–how to activate people to a mission larger than themselves, How to navigate the grief cycle–especially despair–IS CENTRAL TO THE WORK AHEAD.  The appeal to the rational mind with questions like: “Why would we not prioritize these actions?” hasn’t got juice to transform hearts and minds. We must activate the latent energy in humanity. Ask this: What sparks passion and joy?

We do this work because we LOVE and CHOOSE LIFE and because it is OURS TO DO–it IS our purpose, its the reason we are here right now…that living our purpose in itself (especially with others) is a reason to CHOOSE LIFE in times like these. 

We will do the work if it sparks joy.

The good news: there is JOY in the work ahead. It is up to us to find it. One way is to focus on regenerating LIFE in devastated places.


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