For Blessed Unrest book group: enter your reading homework for these three questions here (be sure to add useful comments on your topic page).

3/1 3/8 3/15 3/22 4/5
Read Ch 1, 2 & 3 (p. 48) Read Ch 4 & 5 (p. 86) and post responses for Ch 1-5 Read Ch 6 & 7 (p. 138) Ch 8 & 9 (p. 190) Appendix sections appropriate to your presentation topic and post responses for Ch 6-9 & Appendix
  1. Explain how one idea in the reading relates to other topics already covered in class or something you learned elsewhere (another class or life experience).
  2. List what you think are the three to five most important points made in the reading.
  3. Write a question to provoke discussion among others who read the same passage.

40 Responses to “Blessed Unrest

  1. katiemlindsay Says:

    Week Five:
    1. My topic was education and in the Appendix there was a section on Art Education. This is what I do at work. I am a nanny and I get so much joy from teaching the children about art, not only from this culture, but from other cultures. I think that it is an important step for children to make the connection between their own culture and other cultures around the world. Art is a perfect method for this connection to happen in small children.
    2. Main Points:
    *Creating and enhancing access to education.
    *Education helps bridge the gap between what people know and what they need to know in order to make well-informed decisions.
    *The goal of environmental education is to create a world population that is aware of, and concerned about, the environment and human impacts on the environment.
    *Green schools – to teach and foster environmental awareness and sustainability.
    *Sustainable education importance.
    3. Why aren’t more students my age (early 20’s) looking for organizations to get involved with? Many people are… but I know SO MANY students here in Santa Cruz who claim to have the knowledge and claim to walk the walk when they are so uninvolved. Why is this? Are we all just too wrapped up in our own lives to care?

  2. katiemlindsay Says:

    Week Four:
    1. This passage really speaks to me in the way that Hawken describes the movement as “Immunity”. It is beautiful, the connections that he makes. He states, “…the movement is that part of humanity which has assumed the task of protecting and saving itself.”
    2. Main Points:
    * That this movement works similarly to a living organism.
    * “No culture has ever honored its environment but disgraced its people, and conversely, no government can say it cares for its citizens while allowing the environment to be trashed.”
    * How the movement is building and moving
    * Critics of the movement and their agendas
    * The Slow Food movement
    * A widespread spiritual and religious awakening
    3. There is a part in this passage where he is using Helen Keller as an example. She said, “I rejoice to live in such a splendidly disturbing time!” I have thought a similar idea to myself from time to time. I feel like things are so messed up right now. Do you feel that this is a time of disturbing happenings that is greater than past times? I mean, every century is filled with disturbing times and times of awakening and rejoice. How is this time any different? Is it different?

  3. katiemlindsay Says:

    Week Three:
    1. A large portion of what was talked about in this passage is the vanishing diversity of the world today. Not only in nature, but also in human nature. Something that humans in power seem to strive towards is pushing their ideas and cultural systems on others. They want others to conform to what they believe is truth. It has taken me a long time to realize why diversity is not only important, but why it is essential. Who would ever want to live in a world where everyone believed the same thing and lived the same way?
    2. Main Points:
    * Languages are vanishing faster than species can go extinct.
    * The suppressing of local languages.
    * Western society does not value indigenous cultures, nor does it value the knowledge that they possess.
    * WTO and how they are affecting world affairs.
    * Globalization and how we need to slow the pace of things.
    3.”Areas of the world that are the most biologically diverse are also the most diverse in language, yet the rate of language decline is greater even than that of species loss.” Since everything is connected, it seems quite frightening to me that we are losing this type of diversity. Will we eventually all conform to the same language? Would this create more of an understanding between humans? Or would this create a situation in which diversity is frowned upon? A situation in which language becomes less unique and interesting?

  4. katiemlindsay Says:

    Week Two:
    1. On page 73, Hawken tells about how Ralph Waldo Emerson had his, “…first encounter with the web of life,” through studying Antoine Laurent de Jussieu’s natural system of botanical classification. Hawken states, “Mental curtains fell, the division between human and other life forms vanished, and the interdependence of all life was realized.” I, personally, have just recently come to a similar realization about the world that I live in. I feel that if everyone could have this awakening in their own lives, this world would be such a better place.
    2. Some main points from this passage:
    * Rachel Carson’s war against DDT
    * How Carson’s Silent Spring transformed a few hundred quiet conservation groups into “a much larger and more vocal movement.”
    * Man is part of nature, and a war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”
    * Everything is connected.
    3. Don’t you feel like this world would run a lot more smoothly if we taught about the interconnectedness of life in schools worldwide? Shouldn’t that be a major part of the curriculum?

  5. katiemlindsay Says:

    Week One:
    1. There is one part from this section of the reading (Pg.18) in which Hawken talks about the current movement and how one of its key contributions is, “…the rejection of one big idea in order to offer in its place thousands of practical and useful ones. Instead of isms it offers processes, concerns, and compassion.” This is pretty much exactly what we had discussed in class. We were talking about how everything is not just black and white and that these problems that we face are circumstantial. There is not just one solution, there are many. There are processes that we can use to address a variety of problems, but these processes will be slightly altered depending on the specific situation. We cannot fix the current situation without considering the human factor. Compassion must be a main ingredient for the solution.
    2. This section talked about the “three basic roots” of the movement. These are: environmental activism, social justice initiatives, and indigenous cultures’ resistance to globalization. The majority of what was discussed here was why this movement is happening, what the movement is, and where it is heading. Also, he discussed who is involved with this movement. He also talked about how this is the largest social movement in history and how he came to that conclusion.
    3. Hawken stated, “…we can be grateful that humanity is a learning organism.” I have thought about this and I am not so sure whether this is a good thing or not. We are always learning, but with society the way it is nowadays in the United States, I worry about how we are learning and what we are learning. It scares me when I look at what the media is feeding the general public and where the general public’s interests lie. Do you think that we are heading towards an awakening, heading towards better habits and lifestyles, or do you think that we are downward spiraling into destructive habits and lifestyles? Are we learning the right things?

  6. seatruth Says:

    The last reading of the book is an appendix of actual movements in motion today. Organized by Hawken, it is a great resource to network, reach out, and inform the world of what is going on.

    1. The fact that we live in an age of technology we can utilize this to be of great benefit. The act of creating WiserEarth website goes to show what great change we can begin to instigate, how we can reach out and find others for support, inspiration, and information. I found this extremely connected to the lecture last week, about how systems self organize, and create their own waves and patterns in the whole. Systems are unpredictable….I mean, who would have thought that the people who are coming together in this network would come to be??? Why do some people “hear the call” while others go on unknowing, unfeeling? This phenomenon makes one wonder the vastness of it all, and to reiterate last weeks blog of a possible spiritual awakening in the midst….it’s all very truly profond….

    2. Since the last reading was an appendix, I am choosing to write the three to five most important points that caught my attention in the reading.
    1. Yes, things are crazy…but look deeper…there is something stirring below the surface.
    2. Awareness is key, using the means of today can help us solve the problems of tomorrow…all exists for a reason.
    3. Attention to what is really valuable, preserving the cultures that bring us the richness of human diversity is crucial to our species.
    4. The planet may be sick, in fact, many people are sick, but the immune system comes in, just when we think that it is too late, and can make miraculous precedence in the face of defeat.
    5. Joining together in a conscious, committed way is the next step to joining together to restore our world and give future generations a place to walk, live, breathe.

    3. What can we do here and now to make a difference? How can we take what we’ve learned and educate our community to benefit in the most open and receptive way?

  7. seatruth Says:

    Gotta say…I feel a little one sided here on the blog…but here goes…

    Immunity…great synonym for the movement, loved how he linked the two together…and after I talked abut the Slow Food movement…here it is again!!! I would have to say that this is my favorite idea. I am very into food.. for one thing, I feel like it is the one thing that we CAN have control over in all the chaos and that it is the most important thing in that it keeps us running.

    2. Wealthy individuals that are contributing…people using their money as a vote. This is more what we need to be focusing on and a realization that that is what money is used for.

    The Long Now Foundation, and the reply of the 8 year old in response of human continuum…this really struck a deep chord for me…my work is with children, and it just seems so unfair to leave them with this mess…

    Methane and the permafrost….scary!

    The solving for pattern solution

    Spaceship Earth hypothesis

    Spiritual awakening….very interesting concept, and very prominent here in SC, to say the least….

    3. How can we incorporate these solutions, such as solving for pattern in our LOCAL economy now, more than later?

  8. seatruth Says:

    Chapters 6 & 7

    1. The emphasis of a slowing within the market economy to advocate slower time frames. Everything is speeding to such a rapid increase and crescendo that there doesn’t allow the time for natural harmonization, s shown throughout the indigenous cultures. I’m not sure how many people have heard of the “Slow Movement”….it is especially popular within the food culture, and I thought I would just post a link….but it is becoming a popular trend throughout the world.

    * The importance of language and indigenous cultures to create harmonious biodiversity on the planet.

    * Despite the plight globalization has on indigenous people, it has also served them in providing the tools for mass communication of their issues concerning human rights and environmental protection, via internet, video, and partnership with NGO’s to aide in their causes.

    * Western culture’s inherent lack of understanding and support of the world’s indigenous culture and knowledge.

    * Water privatization in order to borrow money from the World Bank….This one blew me out of the water!!!! no pun intended…but what a grand idea to control people…take away a basic need for cold hard cash…sad…

    * WTO and it’s corruption in the trade business and world affairs

    * The pace that the WTO and market economies are working in needs to slow down

    In what ways can we draw on indigenous knowledge and culture without imposing Western ideas on their culture?

  9. seatruth Says:

    1. What distinguishes one life from another is intention, the one thing that we can control, and that the one sure way to sow seeds is through smallness, grace, and locality.
    I feel that the many reviews heard from the other book groups in class reflect this statement as well. Many people and organizations proclaim the familiar “Think globally, act locally” slogan. Another parallel is to the group reading about the more caring economic system and the value that we place on the important things in our lives. Holding the intention of importance is another valuable resource that has been gradually slipping with each new innovation and possession, but thankfully people are starting to re-emerge with their own awakening of value and intention.

    * How we treat nature and how we treat each other are the foundations of environmental and social justice.

    * Emerson’s teaching that the laws of nature were the same as the laws of human nature and that man could base a good and just life on nature.

    *It is impossible to find a period of history within the past centuries when business didn’t have a disproportionate share of rights in the world.

    *It’s time to be truthful about what is going on in the world of environmentalism, polarization of wealth, and human rights

    3. What steps can be taken to hold fast to the larger vision being brought forth in this movement?

  10. seatruth Says:

    1. An idea
    The idea that Wrong is an addictive, repetitive story, and that Right is where the movement is. This is such a highly potent statement in itself. It is the highlight of the book, and the highlight of this class. All that is possible is mostly held in the way we feel and think, not just what we do. There have been new, countless examples of this phenomenon in recent years. One example I can cite immediately is Dr. Emoto and his discovery of water containing information, sacred messages, quantum physics.

    2.Important points:

    *The movement has three basic roots: environmental activism, social justice initiatives, and indigenous culture’s
    resistance to globalization.

    * The movement is so hard to identify because it transcends any particular ideology, it isn’t catagorical in any sense.

    * Global civilization is endangered by “isms”. Terrorism, economic fundamentalism, and religious fundamentalism.

    * The world, and this generation in particular, has one of the most difficult tasks in history: to prevent the irreversible losses of the capacity to support life.

    3. Question:
    What are some of the ways in which this “underground movement” could rise/is rising to the surface?

  11. stein22 Says:

    week 3 and 4
    The rights of business… Rachel Carson “‘silent spring’- Carson’s argument stood firmly in the tradition of demands for social and environmental justice that extended back to concerns about the environmental health during the Industrial Revolution. “ , “Man is apart of nature, and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”
    This chapter discuses the Industrial Revolution and what kind of affects it had on the environment, one example given is the chemical DDT. The rights of business to mass produce a product when they really can not tell what the out come of that product will be. The after math of the use of chemical DDT in agriculture was catastrophic. Why is there a battle going on between individuals basic human rights, and business, if businesses are owned by individuals, run by individual employees in every level and the very products it provides in turn consumed by individuals? Could it be that we are indeed poisoning our selves through every step of the social system we as humanity created in the first place.
    “The question that continues to reverberate to this day is whether human rights trump the rights of business, or vise versa, a conflict that has been ongoing for more than three hundred years.”

    Immunity…. Comes from the Latin im munis, meaning ready to serve…. Just as the immune system recognizes self and non-self, the movement identifies what is humane and not humane. Just as the immune system is the line of internal defense that allows an organism to persist over time, sustainability is a strategy for humanity to continue to exist over time. … With global humanitarian immunity we have balanced power, and the ability to fight off any impurity and neutralize any thing that tries to take over our immune system.
    Note: capitalist wealth and domination allow individualistic culture, when by definition a culture is an interconnected group of individuals.
    What kind of individual are you or do you strive to be, self or non-self?
    -We study the different forms of greed but rarely the harmonization of human needs.
    -For every dollar spent on peacekeeping 2,000 is spent on war making. We are fighting terrorism with terror.
    -Evolution is optimism in action.
    -“The earth is not dying it is being killed. And the people who are killing it have names and addresses.” -U.Utah Phillips.

  12. k5dolphin Says:

    *”We are moving from a world created by privelege to a world created by community”. (pg. 193, Appendix) This reminded me of an email that I received about white privelge related to the election. And I just heard a man speak on a documentary about how Obama is transcending race. Let’s see the man, the leader, the community organizer, the one who can bring us together.
    “is the first on-line data base that can be edited by the community it serves.” (pg. 192, appendix)
    WISER=World Index of Social and Environmental Responsibility.
    I went on and signed up today. It was cool to see the same headings from the Appendix on the wiserearth website. I chose many areas of focus. Cetaceans was my first choice. Did you know that whales, dolphins, porpoises (and elephants) are the only mammals with convoluted brains larger than humans? (pg. 203, Appendix)
    *For Jason:
    Re: Wiserearth
    “If it can provide a means to exchange info. and communicate ideas freely, it can accelerate understanding, social evolution, and adaptation.”
    The database evolves, adapts and improves!
    *”Community Development is the process of building the participation and capacity of local people to identify and work toward their own solutions to enhance the long term, social, economic, and environmental conditions of their community” (pg. 221, Appendix)
    We did a quick mini-community development in class on our topics. And look how much info. we all gathered in a short time!
    *”The success of the movement will be defined by how rapidly it becomes a part of all other sectors of society. If it remains singular and isloated, it will fail. If it is absorbed and integrated into religion, education, business, government, there’s a chance that humanity can reverse the trends that beset the earth” (pg. 193, Hawken)
    How can we help culitivate the movement in our community?

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