Faith in Action

What do we do when we’re uncertain? Pause and breathe? Freeze? Run away? All very human reactions. I find that pausing, breathing the air produced by life on Earth for centuries, and giving thanks for it, reduces my fear. Then I can reach for others. It’s collective action that will bring us connection and comfort now, and collective action that gives humanity a chance to move from over-consumption to sharing. 

Rebecca Solnit, a long time climate activist, recently wrote in the Washington Post  a doom-challenging article, titled “What if Climate Change Meant not Doom- but Abundance?” 

So often, we think that changing our ways will be a sacrifice, and one that’s too hard, given the pressure we live under in this society. She wrote: “Look closely, and you can see that by measures other than goods and money, we are impoverished. Even the affluent live in a world where confidence in the future, and in the society and institutions around us, is fading — and where a sense of security, social connectedness, mental and physical health, and other measures of well-being are often dismal.”

We know that anxiety and depression are at all time highs for teens in the US. Collectively, we’re facing the evidence that our way of life kills us and the planet we depend upon. I challenge you to break free of the trance of earn and spend, by doing this: 

“What if we imagined “wealth” consisting not of the money we stuff into banks or the fossil-fuel-derived goods we pile up, but of joy, beauty, friendship, community, closeness to flourishing nature, to good food produced without abuse of labor? What if we were to think of wealth as security in our environments and societies, and as confidence in a viable future?”

Do some dreaming; be bold! What will change as we see each other as treasure, not competitors; when we trust that we can take care of others, because we also will be cared for? Dream out loud with your family, congregation, friends: what thriving world shall we imagine and build together?