Since I first published “Diet for a Small Planet” in 1971, the movement for food that is good for our bodies and our planet has blossomed beyond what I ever imagined. Here’s how.
Buckled hats, golden leaves, roasted turkeys and steaming ears of corn.
Hardy Pilgrims and noble Wampanoag tribesmen sharing hard-earned food in
a mutual gesture of thanks for the bounty bestowed upon the table. No
myth has a hold on the American collective imagination as the myth of
the First Thanksgiving...
That we can't we fix our broken democracy without a vision of one that could work. Human beings have a hard time creating what we can't imagine or even name. Of course, our "vision" can't be some pie-in-the sky, fairy-tale democracy. To be motivating, it has to be hard-nosed: grounded in all we now know -- the good, bad, and the ugly -- about nature, including our own.
Here it is: Power. Now, quick, before reading further, close your eyes. What associations come to mind? If your list is full words like coercion, force, guns, oppression, domination, money, you could be in big trouble...
This award not only communicates a false connection between GMOs and solutions to hunger and agricultural degradation, but it also diverts attention from truly "nutritious and sustainable" agroecological approaches...
Humans see the world through largely unconscious frames that determine what we believe our nature to be and therefore what we believe to be possible. To address our biggest global challenges, we can shed this non-ecological mental map—what I call a “scarcity-mind”—based in lack and fear. Locked in scarcity-mind, we remain blind to our own power and end up creating together a world that none of us, as individuals, would choose. But humans can actually change how we see, moving from a frame of lack and limits to one of alignment with nature. Based on research in neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology, this article explores a world seen with the emergent “eco-mind” in which possibility is all around us. Thinking like an ecosystem, no one is bereft of power.
"If it bleeds, it leads"... ever hear that maxim of journalism? If you want readers, go with the scary, gruesome story -- that's what gets hearts pumping and grabs attention. Yeah, but what grabs our attention can also scare the sh*t out of us and shut us down.
Scary news might "sell," but we can also feel so bombarded with the negative that our "why-bother" reflex kicks in. Fear stimuli go straight to the brain's amygdala, Harvard Medical School's Srinivasan Pillay explains. But, he adds "because hope seems to travel in the same dungeons [parts of the brain] as fear, it might be a good soldier to employ if we want to meet fear."
How do we know the difference between head-in-the-sand hope and eyes-wide-open hope? One is a killer; the other, a life-giver.
First, it helps to ask, what is hope?
Some of my Buddhist buddies pooh-pooh the whole idea of hope. Hope keeps us from experiencing this moment, they tell me. It feeds our yearning for some future one. Hope is rooted in desire, even craving -- and aren't they the root of suffering?
"We've hit the limits of a finite planet!" How many times have I heard this dire warning and felt myself banging against a wall -- ouch! Or, I've read that endless growth is killing our planet, and we have to "just say no" to growth.
Sure, such pronouncements can seem like common sense, but even common-sense metaphors can get us into trouble. The problem is, if we conceive of our challenge as squeezing within the limits of a finite planet, our imaginations stay locked inside an unecological worldview of separateness and lack -- precisely the thinking that got us into this mess. Not good.
Earth Day is really People Day, isn't it?
The fate of Earth is now in human hands. And, recognizing this truth, some have named our era the Anthropocene. So it's high time that we get a grip on what makes this era-making species tick... don't you think?