Beginning of the Beginning

We are poised in our time between humanity’s proclivity for self-indulgence, arrogance and short-sighted self-destruction and a time of healing, cooperation and sustainable relationship with each other and the planet. Some of you understand. You feel revulsion and you feel the possibilities to do better–far better–for the sake of our children’s children, and because it is the RIGHT thing. The problems are many. So too may be the solutions.

“But what can one person do?” we hear so often, perhaps from our own lips or unspoken thoughts.

While working in the garden yesterday, mending the fences from last year’s deer damage, feeling more than a little discouraged about the state of the world, I listened to Paul Hawken describe our collective understanding about our place in the grand scheme of things, and encourage his listeners wisely in ways we CAN and ARE changing the way we do things to each other and the planet–perhaps, even in time to avoid paying the consequences of where our bigger-hammer approach to commerce and politics seems to be carrying us.

sustainability environment Hawken McKibben economics resources I encourage you to pull this thread. If you could use some encouragement, some hope, and a vision for a brighter future than the one we see at first glance in the media, take time to visit at least one of the links below.

Read the advance endorsements of Hawken’s Book, Blessed Unrest by Jane Goodall, Barry Lopez, Bill McKibben, Terry Tempest Williams, David James Duncan, David Suzuki and others.

Watch the short video where Hawken speaks at the Bioneers conference describing this “movement without a name” that may already include more than a million like-minded organizations and 100 million people. If you think you’re alone and powerless, watch.

Buy the book. Give to your children.

And finally, visit Natural Capital, and read about WISER, the World Index for Social and Environmental Responsibility. Let’s find out where we fit best, each one of us. We all have strengths, skills, gifts, experience that can be used toward the healing of injury–environmental, political, and economic. Maybe it’s NOT too late, after all. Perhaps we are at the beginning of the beginning, a time of blessed unrest–and not the beginning of the end.

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. Fred:

    Thanks for the link and info. I interviewed Paul Hawken some years ago for a story about the federal government using data mining to spy on Americans (they tried to hire his company, Groxis, but he turned them down).

    He’s a fascinating guy.

  2. “The beginning of the beginning” – the magic is that we will be there, if we believe we are. Optimism, whether founded or not, breeds action, commitment and energy – and those very things can bring about the circumstances which can truly justify the optimism. Kinda chicken and egg. Or pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.

  3. Fred, thank you for this!!! A marvellous bit of sychronicity here, I have just purchased the book. Cheers, Cate

  4. I just ordered a copy of Hawken’s book. It sounds great! I love us being Earth’s immune system that kicks in when the planet is sick.