To change the world – start in your own back yard!

We don’t need astrologers to tell us we are living in a period of remarkable turbulence and change. The evidence is all around us: from our teetering and corrupt banking systems, to the declining health of Planet Earth whose dominant species, humans, at current rates of consumption require the resources of three and a half planet earths to sustain us. Amongst many problems greatly on the increase against this backdrop are obesity, social inequality, the social and economic burdens of an ageing population – and fast rising anxiety and depression rates.

Our Beautiful Planet:Facebook
Our Beautiful Planet/Facebook

Apparently the overall index of increased happiness as material prosperity grew, peaked in the mid-seventies, then declined. The rot, it seems, set in in 1976….

However, humans have always been incredibly adaptable creatures and there is plenty of room for optimism in the midst of the current gloom. We are poised collectively on an interesting cusp, which many people see as the pivotal point of recognition that the materialist project which has so dominated all life since the rise of Age of Reason in the 18th Century is crumbling, and a new world order or paradigm is emerging.

Materialism has brought us incredible advances, but is bringing our planet and the systems governing our collective lives, to a dangerous edge.

The new paradigm emerging, in essence, invites us to respect and work with the ecological balance of our home planet. It also invites us to recognise that there are many levels to “Reality” – the material level is just one of these. It is not suggesting that we should attempt to put the genie of progress back in the bottle and recreate a “Golden Age” which never existed.

It invites us to go forward into the future bearing the best that scientific and material progress has to offer, but also the best of what human civilisation has distilled over its six thousand years of social evolution which offers proven nourishment of both a physical and spiritual nature to all life on Planet Earth.

We can see evidence of this new paradigm’s emergence all over the planet in large and small ways. To give just one example, the principles of the “Slow Food” movement which began in Italy over two decades ago have taken root and flourished all over the world.

All of us, at a collective, local, and personal level have a part we can play in this paradigm shift. I have been posting now for several years, reporting the remarkable developments taking place in our local area of the city of Glasgow, Scotland, UK, via The Children’s Wood campaign which promotes outdoor education and community activity  via a precious patch of wild land  – which we are fighting to save from the clutches of developers.

Children's Wood Protest
Children’s Wood Protest

What’s happening where you are?

Drop by. Comment. Do let me know!


500 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2015/ ‘Not for Sale!’ Photo copyright Anne Whitaker 2015
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page

4 thoughts on “To change the world – start in your own back yard!

  1. Chiming in from the U.S., I’m currently a volunteer docent at San Jose History Park’s Edwin Markham House, sponsored by Poetry Center San Jose. We offer poetry workshops to young people every summer and have recently established an ongoing poetry therapy workshop for military veterans. I’m also a Victim Advocate, certified in the states of California and Nevada. Although not currently employed by a crisis center, I offer support and referrals whenever needed.

    The most heartwarming thing I’ve witnessed recently is the response to the Northern California forest fire victims. Two close friends had homes in the path of the Lake County fire (70,000 acres in five days), and I was only one of hundreds who helped keep the evacuees and their families, who live in other parts of the country, informed of the fire’s status and links to emergency services and found pets, all via shared Facebook posts. People traveled from all over to donate food, tents, and even the use of their horse trailers. My faith in humanity (and the relevancy of Facebook) has been renewed.

    Heartfelt congratulations to you and The Children’s Wood.

    1. Many, many thanks, Leslie, for this heartwarming comment, affirmative of the basic decency, kindness and humanity which we are still eminently capable of showing to one another in this very troubled world of ours. Blessings to you in all the good work that you do!

  2. Kudos to your Children’s Wood project! Here in Canada the population is very focussed on politics at the moment. The two opposing priorities that parties are up against right now – the Syrian crisis and the influx of refugees versus Homeland Security. It is interesting to listen to the opposing views of the various parties on these two issues. Interestingly, more people are talking about the coming election and the issues so that is positive. We will see which force wins in the end – humanitarian efforts versus security.

    1. Yes, this really is one of the big issues of our time, isn’t it? It is at its most acute in Europe, which desperately needs its leaders to get together FAST to hammer out a collective policy which balances humanitarian needs with security concerns. As yet, there is not much sign of either speedy decision-making or decisive humane collective action. And meanwhile the suffering of our fellow human beings goes on…

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