Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Seeds for the Future

Several weeks ago Thomas Berry passed away. This visionary left us with a legacy of earth wisdom. Berry wrote in “The New Story" from his book The Dream of the Earth, “The basic mood of the future might well be one of confidence in the continuing revelation that takes place in and through the Earth.”

This year Paul Hawken provided profound insights in his commencement address to the University of Portland Class of 2009. He inspired the graduates by saying:

YOU ARE BRILLIANT, AND THE EARTH IS HIRING. The earth couldn’t afford to send any recruiters or limos to your school. It sent you rain, sunsets, ripe cherries, night blooming jasmine, and that unbelievably cute person you are dating. Take the hint. And here’s the deal: Forget that this task of planet-saving is not possible in the time required. Don’t be put off by people who know what is not possible. Do what needs to be done, and check to see if it was impossible only after you are done…
When asked if I am pessimistic or optimistic about the future, my answer is always the same: If you look at the science about what is happening on earth and aren’t pessimistic, you don’t understand data. But if you meet the people who are working to restore this earth and the lives of the poor, and you aren’t optimistic, you haven’t got a pulse. What I see everywhere in the world are ordinary people willing to confront despair, power, and incalculable odds in order to restore some semblance of grace, justice, and beauty to this world.

Hawken urges that the youth of today strive to connect instead of control, and that they participate in a type of Mercy Corps working behind the scenes to heal this wounded planet. So we are invited to be apart of a global movement to defend the rights of those who do not even necessarily know that we are championing them and their world. As we plant the seeds for the future we can transform our economy by healing the future instead of stealing it. Mr. Hawkins goes on to point out that we can either create new assets for the future, or we can use those assets of the future that restore instead of exploit. Working for the earth is a way to be rich, not a way to get rich.

The final lines in Hawken’s speech of May 3rd, 2009 says it all.
Hopefulness only makes sense when it doesn’t make sense to be hopeful. This is your century. Take it and run as if your life depends on it.
Let’s pray that the youth of today feel so inspired!