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SOCIAL MOVEMENT: rising above despair


When I typed in “Social Movement” into wordpress, I read a blogpost from a blogger who wrote that the most dangerous emotion we as Americans can feel is despair. She went on to explain that in a country grappling with so much ecological and social damage, we feel despair but we cannot deny or bottle up this despair. Some individuals feel discomfort and dissonance when they face that people themselves, are the sources of ecological depletion, and they deal with this discomfort by denying that they have been the cause. This just promotes ignorance. We cannot move on from this feeling despair, denial, or anger. Anger is only a negative fuel that motivates people to deal with issues in a negative and violent way.
The author goes on to talk about a Buddist Activist named Joanna Macy. Joanna’s work has focused on anti nuclear movement. She brings things to thought such as the earth’s carrying capacity, oceanic pollution, climate crisis, our methods of dealing with natural disasters in the future, and she relates all of these things together. She sums up the focuses of her work into 4 crises. The first is the Earth’s carrying capacity and its limited space, the next is, thinking beyond our own civilization, we are creating a world that cannot support future civilizations, we are using up all the resources they will need. The third crisis is with the rate of extinctions we are responsible for, we are diminishing biodiversity, and the fourth crisis she believes is most integral is ‘the destruction of everything more complex than anaerobic life forms’ Joanna Macy is a buddhist who travels to communities ‘heavily impacted by despair’ as ecolabs blogger says, and she hosts workshops to teach individuals how who live in areas of ecological destruction and injustice deal with their feelings.
http://ecolabsblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/confronting-despair-in-an-age-of-denial-righteous-anger/comment-page-1/#comment-348
http://www.ecobuddhism.org/wisdom/interviews/jmacy/

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5 thoughts on “SOCIAL MOVEMENT: rising above despair

  1. I completely agree with you. As humans adapt, we have made significant changes to the environment. The fact that people still deny that we are the cause is discomforting to me. Until we accept this idea, there can be no change in the future.

  2. This is a very interesting post and one that I found a little alarming. I always had an idea that humans were changing the environment around us, but not as rapidly as this post would suggest. My question to you is how do we go about changing or solving these crises? Which one should take priority or is there a way in which we can solve them simultaneously. Obviously these are major issues that need to be addressed very quickly and I believe everyone should be a part of the solution.

  3. I really like your post, especially when you mention in your first paragraph that people are afraid and uncomfortable with admitting that we are the problem of ecological depletion. I find it very interesting because I do believe that it is true that we as consumers have a right and even duty to change the way we consume and how businesses are run. If we decided that we wanted more socially responsible company’s and environmentally healthy products, do you believe that company’s would be forced to eventually oblige to our demands? Do you believe that we as consumers are the starting point of the change in the future for business and how products are made?

  4. How is her work part of a social movement, i wonder? Do these social movements affect business? DO they affect what people expect from their economies and the firms within them?

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