Have you heard about Blessed Unrest? That is the name of a book by Paul Hawken, whom I had never heard of before the Justice Summit at William Jewell College earlier this month. I have not read the book, but I want to share some of its content as introduced on Internet videos.
I am writing this partially in response to the question with which I ended my previous posting, “Is there any encouraging word?” (To be honest, I was hoping for more responses and more encouragement from you, my Thinking Friends.)
In Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It Coming (2007), Hawken (b. 1946) depicts the convergence of environmental and social justice movements as the largest and fastest growing social movement in history. This is encouraging.
Speaking to the Bioneers Conference back in 2006, Hawken talked about all the groups worldwide which are working on justice and sustainable activities. He said at that time there were at least 130,000 such groups. (You can see part of that talk here, and I encourage you to view it, if you haven't already. And in case you don’t know, as I didn’t until recently, Bioneers is an organization that formed in 1990 with the newly coined word as their name. Bioneer means “biological pioneer.” You can learn more about them here.)
Hawken has also been instrumental in launching (in 2007) www.WiserEarth.org as an online directory to help map out the work done by these justice and sustainability organizations around the world. There are now more than 110,000 such organization listed, and accessible, on that website, and that number may be only about 1/10 of the total number of such organizations in the world.
One reviewer of Blessed Unrest wrote, “Hawken claims that the reversal of self-destructive behavior is the ultimate purpose of this movement.” Thus, it seems that the unrest Hawkins writes about is the widespread dissatisfaction with how the earth and many people living on it are being mistreated. And that unrest is blessed because it is motivating so many people to be actively involved in change for the better.
Hawken ends his book with these words: “What will guide us is a living intelligence that creates miracles every second, carried forth by a movement with no name” (p. 190).
I find all of this encouraging—and a call to become more involved in working for positive changes in the world.
P.S. I also thought the President’s fine State of the Union address on Wednesday evening was encouraging. What did you think?