The recent book of choice which I have just finished is Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken. Borrowed from the library it is so good I decided to buy a hard copy to keep and luckily found a second hand one on Trade Me. I will be able to read it again and highlight passages that were significant, moving, interesting and enlightening – because there were many.
Blessed Unrest is a book about the growing movement and connectedness of a vast range of thousands of different but like minded people who run organisations with the sole purpose of saving humanity, regeneration and restoration, social justice and environmental justice. After spending days reading about pollution, waste, climate change (and worrying about how we all need to start making changes today), social injustices and environmental devastation and disrespect it is refreshing to read a book that captures all the good things that are happening in the world.
Paul Hawken likens the movement to the body’s immune system. A quiet but strong immune response to the diseases (we have created) on the Earth. He starts off by delving into history to see where the movement came from; from Ghandi to Rosa Parks to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Rachel Carson where the movement started it now spans the entire globe with organisations like World Wildlife Fund for Nature, Greenpeace, 350.org, Friends of the Earth and even SIFT. The world is made up of a vast network of social and sustainability focussed organisations – focus areas include the arts, education, poverty, children, families, women’s rights, animals, gardening, sustainability, climate change, waste, employment and more. The hope is that the work these organisations carry out (trust, foundations, NGOs, non profits, some corporations, volunteer groups) will prevail over the destructive forces from a small number of large organisations. This book highlights the good in humans and the need for social and environmental change that must come if we are to survive.
It is definitely a book to read and helps to remind you of all of the good work that is being done on the Earth to enable it to be healthy for future generations. There are some excellent passages and it is well researched with a long bibliography and includes a taxonomy on all of the different areas of focus and the number of organisations working in that area. You need to get a full understanding of the vastness, the connectedness of all of these organisations and their good impacts in order to feel positive – don’t just stick to the general media to keep you informed!
You can read more about Blessed Earth here and browse all of the listings of organisations from around the world here at WiserEarth (set up by Paul Hawken). As their website tag line says “Together we act as one” and it is great that SIFT is apart of this network.
There is so much more that could be said but reading it will do it justice more.