May 13, 2016
so I follow colin's page on fb and recently commented on a post he wrote about how he writes and uses his vision cards. he sent me a private message thanking me and explaining that he has been experiencing a lot of pressure lately to return to a more climate change focus. he asked me to explain how his current work resonates with me, how I find that it is connected still to climate change.
I think I have a real problem with writing to prompts! because I am suddenly drawing a complete blank as to how to respond to his request. I don't write well like this. it has to kind of bubble up and flow from inside out, not be pulled out. summoned like this, I am always mute!
so basically I wrote a long answer. i'm not happy with it. and now i'm thinking i'll just go from the cuff.
maybe this is too simplistic I want to say. that happy people equals a happier planet. and that a sad, stressed planet creates sad, stressed people. and that no impact man addressed concrete steps in an experiment initiated to reduce the stress on the world, to make our planet a little happier. in the process you learned that many of those elements in the experiment actually enriched and enlivened in happy ways your own life. and I have had a very similar experience. going about life as usual, head down, plodding along with the masses and participating in all the activities that place more stress on our world only thoroughly stressed me out and led to greater and greater depression. so this current work about how to live well, how to be alive addresses practical steps and good research about happiness. so if you can help people feel more alive, live happier lives, I think that will inevitably lead those people down a path that is gentler on the planet. why? because when people really analyze what makes them happiest, I think inevitably they will come to realize that we are here to love, to be present in the hours and moments of our lives. and we will realize then that it is life, in all its varied presentations that we value most, that makes us feel happiest. experiences with people, music, art, trees, plants, animals, mountains, the desert, the ocean, the night skies. and then, we will want to take care of all that, just as we currently take care of our family. "family" will become a much broader term. "home" will become less and less about our own four walls and more and more about this one very unique planet we all share. so then we will look at all things with new eyes. we will want better healthcare, childcare, eldercare. we will want cleaner energy, a transportation system that is more efficient, workplaces that value the humans who work there, educational opportunities based on best practices for learning, a food industry that produces real food that is safe and flavorful, grown and raised in ways that are healthy and humane.
i see no impact and how to be alive as two works that mirror each other in approach. one grabs people to help the world by reducing their impact and as a result they find greater happiness. how to be alive educates people about some of the reasons their lives are so unhappy, helps them step by step build greater happiness into their lives. i believe the ripple out from that will be people who reduce their impact on the world because they have found a better path, and that better path also helps the world.
happy people=happy planet. sad, stressed people=sad, stressed planet. and vice versa. it's all connected. we're all connected.
one more thing. the real reason your work resonates with me is that the state of the world is such a slippery slope into depression for me. you always provide a hopeful, positive, welcoming example of how to live healthfully & hopefully while fighting for change. You hold up a lantern in the darkness of these times and i really need and appreciate that and seek to emulate it in my daily choices and interactions with others.