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Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in without Going Crazy Paperback – March 13, 2012
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Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine
To the future beings of the twenty-second century, Active Hope might turn out to be the most important book written in the twenty-first.”
Bill Plotkin, author of Soulcraft and Nature and the Human Soul
More than any book I’ve read, Active Hope shows us the true dimensions of this crisis, and the way our heart and actions can be part of the great turning toward healing. Please read this book and share it with others for your own awakening, for our children, and for our future.”
Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance
Active Hope is a brilliant guide to sanity and love.”
Roshi Joan Halifax, abbot of the Upaya Zen Center
If you have despaired for our world, and if you love life, Active Hope will be for you an extraordinary blessing.”
John Robbins, author of Diet for a New America and The Food Revolution
Active Hope is not just a book but a gateway to transformation.”
Jim Douglass, author of JFK and the Unspeakable
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Top Customer Reviews
This would be a particularly wonderful book to share in a book group as well!
As its authors contend, great revolutions start in the fringes. It shows a "third story": neither "we'll figure something out, just keep doing what you are doing" nor "we are already screwed, what is the point of anything?", but the very human ability to rise to the occasion and finally reach our collective adulthood as a "life-sustaining society", to use their words. I cannot yet say that I have become an optimist, at least not a full-time one. But maybe that is precisely the point -central in the book, to be sure-: is it only worth fighting for something we have good chances of succeeding at? What if we do not have a clue about the chances we actually have, what if we even KNOW that they are slim: does that make the very cause of making our world a place in which life is celebrated, and not exploited, not worth the effort?
I do not think so. As Frankl attests, even in the worst conceivable conditions, nobody can take away from me the freedom to choose my attitude and find meaning in my life. There is a phrase that has been popping a lot into my mind lately.Read more ›
What is `it' about? The book is about building our capacity, resilience and intention to act in the face of a world of uncertainty characterised by climate change, peak oil, overpopulation, water scarcity, habitat destruction, loss of top soil and rising toxin levels. The name Active Hope describes the practice that we can follow. This is based on the "Work that Reconnects" which as described below has four stages that circle in a spiral effect. Fundamental to the success of the practice is the narrative we tell ourselves which they note comes in three main forms; business as usual (more of the same will sort things out - head in the sand approach), it's a disaster/it's all too late (the climate is changing and there is nothing much we can do about it) or The Great Turning (this is an opportune time in history for us to change our way of living together on the planet). The later describes a kind of transition "from an industrial society committed to economic growth to a life-sustaining society committed to healing and recovery in the world" (p.5). The assumption here is that we can choose the narrative we tell ourselves and better we tell ourselves a narrative that will help sustain life in the future. The rest of the book then refers to the "empowerment process" that we can employ to strengthen our capacity to contribute to this great turning. There are four stages to this; coming from gratitude, honouring our pain for the world, seeing with new eyes and going forth". Central to this in a discussion on "widening circles of self" which begin with the individual, family/group, community, human society and web of life (p.90. Fig. 5).Read more ›
These are the central questions that the book tries to answer.
It is an unusual topic to grapple with. All the other books on the subject of environmental activism that I've read failed to mention it, instead devoting their time to facts and figures that left no doubt about the gravity of the situation, the ways of thinking that have brought us to the brink, and the changes that we'll have to make to dig ourselves out. This suggested an unspoken assumption that informing us about the crisis ought to be sufficient to prompt us to avert it.
My experience has been quite different. Despite being exposed to the problem through various media, I took no interest in it until my late twenties. Once I did, I found it just as difficult to get the attention of others. Some didn't consider it relevant - they had more pressing personal issues to attend to and goals to pursue. To my surprise, there were others who also avoided the subject despite having a fairly good grasp of its magnitude and severity. They felt powerless to do anything about it, so they chose to make the most of the present circumstances and not dwell on tomorrow.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I do a lot of volunteer activism work for climate change and this book really adds effective, values based ways of framing and managing this scary issue.Published 4 months ago by Beverly
I put it down after the first two chapters. Too little meat. I think someone needs to rewrite this book with 1/20th as many words. Read morePublished 8 months ago by sharon geiken
A wonderfully written book - providing more food for thought than I hoped for. Highly recommended.Published 8 months ago by Cayce fan
This is a wonderful book if you are concerned with climate change but feel hopeless and helpless. It helps open up that pot on the back burner and helps us to have our feelings... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Christopher J Dumbleton
First, don't jump to conclusions based on the title. If *I* hadn't been part of a reading group that dove into this, I'd have skipped it, expecting some "positive thinking,... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Geoff Maciolek
This is a wonderful book about how to cope with the many crises in the world today. It is articulate and thoughtful and gives specific suggestions about how to work with our fear... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Joyce Lane
The ideas are illuminating but the book became repetitive and could have been about 30% shorter. Nevertheless, this book contains important ideas that we need right now.Published 13 months ago by Amy S. Vastola