Refreshing Perspective

Having eaten breakfast to the accompaniment of bad news, I realise it’s time to immerse in the positive again.  It’s so much healthier.  This is a very refreshing perspective on the positive role refugees can play in host countries, as opposed to treating them as a burden and problem.

Debunking Unhelpful Myths

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And now for something a little bit different: Good News!

“This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one.  Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.  I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can.  I rejoice in life for its own sake.  Life is no brief candle to me.  It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”

George Bernard Shaw

The news is rarely a purveyor of good tidings.  But since I’ve embarked on my journey into permaculture, I’ve discovered there is a wealth of good news that goes unnoticed and underreported.  Social media have played a role in helping us become more connected to each other and it’s proving to be a powerful force.

There are more than two million organisations world-wide that work for social justice.  That’s the largest grassroots movement in history.  There is hope.  And hope exists in action.

” Ultimately good prevails.  It is a moral universe, despite all appearances to the contrary .. there is no way in which evil will ultimately triumph.” ( Desmond Tutu)

According to the founder of the Venus Project, there is the technology available to provide energy indefinitely, feed the population and to eradicate inequality.  And the good news is: we don’t have to sacrifice our mod cons to achieve it.

He isn’t alone in sharing this view.

“We know what to do.  It will take about $200 Billion to stabilise the population, eradicate poverty and restore natural support systems over the next decade.  That’s a lot, but when you compare it with military budgets, it’s not that much.  It’s less than a third of the US military budget.”

Lester Brown

In addition to the grassroots movement of more than 2 million organisations, there are some state level responses.  Bhutan measures GDP in terms of the happiness of its citizens and Ecuador has paved the path for regenerating our connection with nature.

“Ecuador is the first country in the world to recognise the rights of nature in its constitution. Recognising the rights of nature means treating nature as a somebody, as someone to protect and not as something to be destroyed or exploited.”

A citizen of Ecuador

Yet, there is yet the looming dominance of unethical business practices and the legal and economic structures within which they operate.

“Normal companies have a legal obligation to maximise value for their share holders.”

B-Lab representative

B Lab is a platform for businesses who are not discouraged from making money, but to be part of the community, operate to make a difference.  It supports a community of more than 1600 businesses across 42 countries who share a goal:  to redefine success in business.  This may not seem like a lot of businesses, nor is it entirely global, but as B Lab claim, if they achieve their goal, others will follow.

“If they can do this successfully, one day all companies will compete not only to be the best IN the world but the best FOR the world.”

Here’s a few members of the B Lab community that you may recognise:

  • Patagonia Outdoor Clothing
  • Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
  • Etsy
  • Beneficial State Bank
  • The Road Less Traveled
  • Rubicon Global
  • TOM organic
  • FlipGive
  • Change.org
  • CORE foods
  • Totebag SRL

This post is to be the first in a series which aims to share Good News! That is, I’ll be dedicating a post to positive social action – to those who light their torch and are making it burn as brightly as possible.  This could be a featured ethical company, successful social action or an individual who is being the change they wish to see.

If you’d like to share the good news in your community, please write a post about it and “Pingback” to that week’s Good News! post.

 

Credits:  Many of the quotations above were taken from the Pachamama Alliance’s Awakening the Dreamer course.  It’s free, it takes about 2 hours and helps inspire blog posts!!!