Recently I was reading the Mary Oliver poem, ‘Of the Empire’
“We will be known as a culture that feared death
and adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurity
for the few and cared little for the penury of the
many. We will be known as a culture that taught
and rewarded the amassing of things, that spoke
little if at all about the quality of life for
people (other people), for dogs, for rivers.”
Like her other work, I found this one to be sharp and precise. She speaks of what we give value to in the way we live our life – and doesn’t that resonate all too well in the current climate? This week we had yet another Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report drawing our attention, again, to the state of the planet. Asking us to use our resources in a way that nourishes each other and the other species on this planet.
The report demands that we begin acting now if we want to prevent further devastation. In the report, we see that cities, while causing a lot of damage, also offer us hope. Many of the ways in which we can shift things globally is demanding better, more sustainable urban development. In season 1 of our podcast, we spoke to how we can indeed approach our cities through the lens of well-being. Many individuals are coming together to build sustainability into our everyday life, one step at a time.
In the face of these big environmental reports that seem out of our control, I wonder about what we can do, each of us, in our own way to move this earth closer to kindness. I turn to folks who are working on the ground, shifting our cities through their hopeful action.
As Rebecca Solnit says in her book, Hope In The Dark: “To hope is to gamble. It’s to bet on your futures, on your desires, on the possibility that an open heart and uncertainty is better than gloom and safety. To hope is dangerous, and yet it is the opposite of fear, for to live is to risk.”
We hope you will reply and share what brings you hope in your cities and who is paying a role in building hope for us all.