My 1000 Small Steps – October 20, 2019

Posted on: October 20th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Reason for Hope

by Kathie England

“Only if we understand, will we care. Only if we care, will we help. Only if we help, shall we all be saved.” (Jane Goodall)

TIME magazine’s September 23, 2019 Special Climate Issue included an article by Jane Goodall that reminded me of her book, Reason for Hope. Published in 2000, Reason for Hope talked about how we are destroying our planet, yet she still had hope.

Few people have traveled more widely to raise awareness of this destruction that is even more imminent today. In 2000 Goodall stated, “If we truly care about the future of our planet, we must stop leaving it to ‘them’ out there to solve all the problems. It’s up to us to save the world for tomorrow: it’s up to you and me.”

In 2019 Goodall believes we can slow the climate crisis by solving four problems that seem unsolvable: eliminate poverty, change the unsustainable lifestyles of so many of us, abolish corruption, and manage our growing human population.

Her reasons for hope today are: the resilience of nature, the human brain, social media, and the power of young people. Just as many young people are working to end gun violence in America (March for Our Lives), many others like Greta Thunberg are rallying the entire world to take action about climate.

In 1991, Goodall launched Roots & Shoots, a program where young people from kindergarteners to university students create projects to make the world a better place for animals, people, and the environment. https://www.rootsandshoots.org/take-action/ This program now exists in more than 50 countries.

Perhaps this crisis still feels too overwhelming, so I want to close with the words of Malala Yousafzai, another young person who is making a difference.

“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful!”

How will you use your voice today?

Posted on: September 20th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

My 1000 Small Steps – September 20, 2019

Hope and Courage

by Kathie England

“Vulnerability is courage. It’s the willingness to show up and be seen in our lives. And in those moments when we show up, I think those are the most powerful, meaning-making moments of our lives even if they don’t go well. I think they define who we are.”

Those were the words of Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston and presenter of one of the top five most-viewed TED Talks in the world, during her interview by Krista Tippett for her On Being podcast.

https://onbeing.org/programs/brene-brown-the-courage-to-be-vulnerable-jan2015/

Last month in writing about hope I quoted Vaclav Havel, “Hope is an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.”

I also shared definitions of hope by Jonathan Rowson and Roberto Unger – “It’s not just so much about thinking things will be better, but actually seeing a place that’s worth going to and orienting your will towards that.”

Brené Brown believes – “Hope is a function of struggle.”

Are you willing to engage in the most existential struggle we face on our planet – the climate crisis?

Are you willing to show up and join young people throughout the world in climate strikes September 20-27?

https://globalclimatestrike.net/

I close by paraphrasing Albert Schweitzer – we often don’t know how our lives impact others, but it is the courage to keep trying.

To face the climate crisis we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable, find the courage to keep trying, and remember that “hope is a function of struggle.”

Who knows how our showing up can impact the future of our planet?

 

 

My 1000 Small Steps – August 20, 2019

Posted on: August 18th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Hope

by Kathie England

With the recent mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso, and Dayton, plus the ICE raid in Mississippi, hope often feels hard to find.

Listening to the On Being podcast by Krista Tippett helps me not abandon hope. Her recent conversation with Jonathan Rowson offered many thoughts on hope that I share in this month’s post, including words of Vaclav Havel and Roberto Unger.

Jonathan Rowson has studied the brain, philosophy, economics, and education. He directed the Social Brain Centre at the Royal Society of Arts and is co-founder and Director of Perspectiva — a research organization in London that examines the relationship between systems, souls, and society.

Words of Vaclav Havel:

“Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. It is an orientation of the spirit and orientation of the heart; it transcends the world that is immediately experienced and is anchored somewhere beyond its horizons.

Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed.

The more propitious the situation in which we demonstrate hope, the deeper the hope is. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”

Thoughts by Rowson:

“…with the question of hope, I think it’s incumbent on anyone who would define their work as being in some sense about changing the world — and that can be quite a hubristic notion, of course — but anyone who is trying to fashion better forms of living, they need some working theory of hope. And I like the definition of Roberto Unger*, as well, which is that hope is the ‘visionary anticipation of a direction.’ It’s not just so much about thinking things will be better, but actually seeing a place that’s worth going to and orienting your will towards that.

When I quite recently created a new organization called Perspectiva, the purpose of the organization, in some ways, is to paint a vision of the future and a pathway of getting there that does instill a certain amount of hope. I think the only way we’re going to do that is if we get better at linking together what we call ‘systems, souls, and society’ —complex systems, including the economy and politics and all that, the totality of our inner worlds, and then, how we talk to each other and how we live together. I think, if we can get better and more nimble and more generous about how we move between those worlds, then the chance of creating a hope that makes sense for all of us is all the greater.”

I invite you to find hope by taking the small step of listening to the entire podcast.

https://onbeing.org/programs/jonathan-rowson-integrating-our-souls-systems-and-society/

*Roberto Unger is a Brazilian contemporary social theorist, politician, and law professor at Harvard Law School

My 1000 Small Steps – July 20, 2019

Posted on: July 13th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

Soul Box Project

by Kathie England

“One person can make a difference. Everyone should try.” These words of John F. Kennedy aptly describe Leslie Lee, founder of the Soul Box Project.

After the mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 59 people and wounded 441 on October 1, 2017, Leslie’s despair tuned to action when she asked herself, “What can I do?”

The Soul Box Project idea began when she discovered that more than 168,000 people were killed or injured by guns between 2014 and 2017. Leslie found a photo of the Ohio State University Stadium that holds nearly 105,000 people. What does it say when even a stadium as large as large Ohio State’s cannot hold all those killed or injured by guns within the most recent three-year timeframe?

Leslie realized how difficult it is to comprehend numbers like these. As an artist, she pondered how a visual statement could make the astounding number of victims more real. Her idea – create a small origami box to represent the life of each soul gunned down – a SOUL BOX. Then display thousands of Soul Boxes in public places like libraries, shopping malls, the halls of Congress, and maybe even at gun shows. Perhaps this visual display would motivate people to write their Congressional representatives, lock up their guns, and demand common sense solutions to the epidemic of gun violence in this country.

A famous and impactful visual display, the AIDS Memorial Quilt with each panel representing one life lost to AIDS, was initially the idea of one man, Cleve Jones. First exhibited on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in October 1987, it helped Americans pay attention to another epidemic.

Perhaps the Soul Box Project has the same potential!

I recently hosted a small Soul Box Party for a few friends. We made almost 40 Soul Boxes which I will deliver to the Soul Box workshop in Portland, Oregon. We decorated many of these Soul Boxes with the names of individuals recently killed by guns. Several of mine showed the faces of a one-year old, a two-year old, and a three-year old. Just the act of researching those who have recently been killed by guns was an emotional experience.

I invite you to visit www.SoulBoxProject.org to learn more, to be inspired, to take action, and remember JFK’s words: “One person can make a difference. Everyone should try.”

My 1000 Small Steps – June 20, 2019

Posted on: June 15th, 2019 by Kathie England | Time for Success No Comments

“Everything needs to change – and it has to start today.”

by Kathie England

At age 15, Greta Thunberg created a movement when she began protesting to demand action on the crisis of climate change. She walked out of school and sat outside the Swedish parliament every day for three weeks. Her actions inspired more than 100,000 children world-wide to become involved in a movement called Fridays for Future.

In 2018, Greta spoke at the United Nations COP24 in Katowice, Poland, where her speech went viral. In January 2019 she was invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos where her speeches again made a worldwide impact. She has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by TIME magazine.

Listen to Greta’s talk on the TED Radio Hour broadcast by NPR where she said that instead of looking for hope, we need to look for action. “Everything needs to change and it has to start today. It is only then that hope will come.”

https://www.npr.org/2019/06/07/730383662/greta-thunberg-are-we-running-out-of-time-to-save-our-planet

Prompted by Greta’s call for action, I want to share the action that Steve Oldham and his team at Carbon Engineering (https://carbonengineering.com/) in Squamish, B.C. are already taking.

I heard Steve at TEDx Portland on April 27, 2019. Watch and listen to his idea that could save our planet. The cost Steve says is only 1% of GDP, which happens to be the amount of money spent on one day of the year, Christmas. What could be a better gift to the children of the world?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZu7N3LAbUM (This link is to all the speakers at the 2019 TEDx Portland, so scroll across to 27:00 to watch Steve. His talk is about 15 minutes long.)

I conclude this month’s post with the words of poet Jericho Brown in his conversation with Krista Tippett https://onbeing.org/programs/jericho-brown-small-truths-and-other-surprises/.

“Hope is always accompanied by the imagination, the will to see what our physical environment seems to deem impossible. Only the creative mind can make use of hope. Only a creative people can wield it.”

We are creative people who can take action that starts today!