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RESOURCES for "What does this time require of us?"
By Deb Allerton August 2020
On Being programs: Rebecca Solnit - Falling Together transcript
Original Air Date May 26, 2016 Last Updated March 19, 2020
“People in this culture love certainty so much. And they seem to love certainty more than hope — which is why they often seize on these really kind of bitter, despondent narratives that they know exactly what’s going to happen. And that certainty just seems so tragic to me. I want people to tell more complex stories and to acknowledge that sometimes we win and that there are these openings. But an opening is just an opening. You have to go through it and make something happen. And you don’t always win, but if you try, you don’t always lose.”
A Paradise Built in Hell, a book by Rebecca Solnit, is “an investigation of the moments of altruism, resourcefulness, and generosity that arise amid disaster’s grief and disruption and considers their implications for everyday life. It points to a new vision of what society could become-one that is less authoritarian and fearful, more collaborative and local.”
'The impossible has already happened': what coronavirus can teach us about hope
In the midst of fear and isolation, we are learning that profound, positive change is possible.
By Rebecca Solnit
“One of our main tasks now - especially those of us who are not sick, are not frontline workers, and are not dealing with other economic or housing difficulties - is to understand this moment, what it might require of us, and what it might make possible.”
"Hope offers us clarity that, amid the uncertainty ahead, there will be conflicts worth joining and the possibility of winning some of them. And one of the things most dangerous to this hope is the lapse into believing that everything was fine before disaster struck, and that all we need to do is return to things as they were. Ordinary life before the pandemic was already a catastrophe of desperation and exclusion for too many human beings, an environmental and climate catastrophe, an obscenity of inequality. It is too soon to know what will emerge from this emergency, but not too soon to start looking for chances to help decide it. It is, I believe, what many of us are preparing to do."
'The way we get through this is together': the rise of mutual aid under coronavirus By Rebecca Solnit
“Amid this unfolding disaster, we have seen countless acts of kindness and solidarity. It’s this spirit of generosity that will help guide us out of this crisis and into a better future.
I believe the generosity and solidarity in action in the present moment offers a foreshadowing of what is possible – and necessary. The basic generosity and empathy of most ordinary people should be regarded as a treasure, a light and an energy source that can drive a better society, if it is recognised and encouraged. Mostly, it’s overlooked, undermined and sabotaged. Capitalism, and its octopus arms of entertainment, advertising and marketing, endeavour to reduce us to consumers. This means making us the kind of miserable, selfish, lonely people who seek fulfillment through buying stuff, and believe in competitiveness as a basic social force....
What I have seen after earlier disasters is that a lot of people aspire to “go home” and “back to normal”, but some find in the moment a sense of self and a sense of connection so meaningful that something about who they were and what they did in the crisis carries forward into how they live the rest of their life...
The pandemic marks the end of an era and the beginning of another – one whose harshness must be mitigated by a spirit of generosity.... It can be the basis for the future, if we can recognise the value of these urges and actions, recognise that things can and must change profoundly, and if we can tell other stories about who we are, what we want and what is possible.”
Jan Phillips (author, artist, activist) introduced me to the word “insisters” during a webinar about her book NO ORDINARY TIME - The Rise of Spiritual Intelligence and Evolutionary Creativity. You can find excerpts from that book HERE.
"At the end of this pandemic, whomever is left will stand together to co-create a new plan for our nation that represents the needs of all. That is, if we INSIST on that. It is up to us to unsilence ourselves, INSIST on our 3 principles: peace, justice, planetary protection. (at least that what I'm calling for and I'm talking, as the founding member of the InSisters:)" - Jan Phillips
"We will not go back to normal. Normal never was. Our pre-corona existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, exhaustion, depletion, extraction, disconnection, confusion, rage, hoarding, hate, and lack. We should not long to return my friends. We are being given the opportunity to stitch a new garment. One that fits all of humanity and nature."
Arundhati Roy: “The Pandemic Is a Portal”(video) article
Arundhati Roy: “Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to ‘normality”, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world anew. This one is no different. It is a portal, a gateway between one world and the next. We can choose to walk through it, dragging the carcasses of our prejudice and hatred, our avarice, our data banks and dead ideas, our dead rivers and smoky skies behind us. Or we can walk through lightly, with little luggage, ready to imagine another world. And ready to fight for it.”
Eco-Justice Notes - 7/17/20 The Enticing Hope of Reorientation by Peter Sawtell
“Disorientation is an uncomfortable state. We know we mustn't go back to what had been ‘normal,’ and yet we're not sure how to reorient toward a better future. In these troubling times, may we have the courage to make bold choices, and the wisdom to learn from prophetic leaders, as we act to turn our society toward sustainability and justice.”
Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting You are not crazy, my friends. The Gaslighting of America Has Begun - Understand your power, my friends. Business and government do. By Julio Vincent Gambuto
And from Naomi Klein: “It is not enough to merely resist or say ‘No’. Our moment demands a ‘Yes’ to a bold course for winning the fair and caring world we want and need.”
Also a great interview with Naomi Klein: https://www.interviewmagazine.com/culture/ask-a-sane-person-naomi-klein-is-not-ready-to-give-up-the-fight
Naomi Klein: How big tech plans to profit from the pandemic
As the coronavirus continues to kill thousands each day, tech companies are seizing the opportunity to extend their reach and power. By Naomi Klein
Nicola Sturgeon Why governments should prioritize well-being Posted Jul 2019 TED Talk
Robin Wall Kimmerer: 'People can’t understand the world as a gift unless someone shows them how' An interview by James Yeh
Her book Braiding Sweetgrass has been a surprise bestseller. The nature writer talks about her fight for plant rights, and why she hopes the pandemic will increase human compassion for the natural world….
Kimmerer often thinks about how best to use her time and energy during this troubled era. Though she views demands for unlimited economic growth and resource exploitation as “all this foolishness”, she recognises that “I don’t have the power to dismantle Monsanto. But what I do have is the capacity to change how I live on a daily basis and how I think about the world. I just have to have faith that when we change how we think, we suddenly change how we act and how those around us act, and that’s how the world changes. It’s by changing hearts and changing minds. And it’s contagious. I became an environmental scientist and a writer because of what I witnessed growing up within a world of gratitude and gifts.”
A contagion of gratitude,” she marvels, speaking the words slowly. “I’m just trying to think about what that would be like. Acting out of gratitude, as a pandemic. I can see it.”
OPTIMIST VIEW: Managing self-care when things fall apart May 10, 2020 in Health
“The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” – Pema Chödrön