Chose a positive attitude, engage habits that contribute to your life goals, be good to Mother Earth in all your endeavors (and maybe even make her your chief priority in life), partner with others who are doing the same, and enlist as many as possible to join the journey! (Oh, and by the way, do a little yoga and meditation and you will really move forward.)
Now that I have unloaded my angst, here is the rest of my post on Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. I usually review the table of contents carefully before reading a book in order to get a sense of how the author(s) approach their topic. Some of the chapter headings did not reveal their meaning and others did. I was fairly encouraged by the chapter headings and hoped to learn some different approaches to developing hope, particularly a hope that is dynamic (active) in the course of navigating a difficult world. I was, however, very disappointed.
My disappointment is not because the book approached the subject of hope from other than a biblical worldview, it is because 1) every chapter and every supporting idea where no more than trojan horses that exported the author’s ecological ideology, and, 2) no new positive thinking approaches were suggested; old ones were simply relabeled. The correlation between their idea of “Active Hope” and positive thinking doctrine is easily identified in their description of active hope: “It is a process we can apply to any situation, and it involves three key steps. First, we take a clear view of reality; second, we identify what we hope for in terms of the direction we’d like things to move in or the values we’d like to see expressed; and third, we take steps to move ourselves or our situation in that direction.”* Kindle Location 272.
Some constructive ideas sounded in the book were:
• The importance of choice, choosing our intentions, “The guiding impetus is intention; we choose what we aim to bring about” Kindle Location 274.
• The importance of breaking free of a “business as usual” lifestyle.
• Acting pre-emptively, intentionally, towards a preferred future. ”We don’t wait until we are sure of success. We don’t limit our choices to the outcomes that seem likely. Instead, we focus on what we truly, deeply long for, and then we proceed to take determined steps in that direction.” Kindle Edition. Page 37.
• The most significant point made in the book was the “new power” which has to do with what we do rather than with what (resources) we have to leverage. “Rather than being based on how much stuff or status we have, this view of power is rooted in insights and practices, in strengths and relationships, in compassion and connection.” Kindle Edition. Page 108.
• Another great insight, “Research has shown that when people approach a problem by imagining that it has already been solved and then look back from this imagined future, they are more creative and detailed in describing potential solutions.” Kindle Edition. Page 172.
• Very helpful tool, “TRY THIS: CREATING A SUPPORT MAP” Kindle Edition. Pg. 205. I thought this was particularly helpful. It could be reproduced on a napkin to communicate to others the importance of team.
• “If we take action only when we are reasonably sure of success, uncertainty can be paralyzing.” Kindle Edition. Pg. 229.
• The people of God, of all people, should be very engaged in “shepherding” our planet! It is our God given responsibility. But viewing our planet as God’s creation under our care and view our planet as Mother Earth are two very different concepts.
What world view is forcefully communicated?
How can believers rightly and responsibly get engaged in “green” causes?
*Macy, Joanna; Johnstone, Chris (2012-02-22). Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy (p. 3). New World Library. Kindle Edition.