The Climate Strike is happening thanks to the leadership of the young. 

Pancho Ramos-Stierle was twenty-six years old when he was part of the Occupy Oakland movement and was carried away by police while meditating in front of Oakland’s City Hall.  He said: “We are the early adopters of a revolution of values, and we are the evidence that the totalitarianism of corporate capitalism—the machine that has devastated the planet and human beings—doesn’t work and that we need a new system.”

Peaceful protestors Adelaja (l) and Pancho Ramos-Stierle (r) are arrested at Occupy Oakland protest, 2011. Photographer: Noah Berger

Pancho sees the issue as a marriage of spirituality and activism: “It is time for the spiritual people to get active and the activist people to get spiritual so that we can have total revolution of the human spirit.” People who are going to caves and meditation centers while all this madness is happening are asking: “How can you bring peace and calm and harmony to the world if you do not have that in your heart?  I think that we need both now, and that we need to combine this inner revolution with the outer revolution to have the total revolution of the spirit. Then you can build the alternatives to a collapsing system built on structural violence.”

This cannot be accomplished without the generosity, imagination, hard work and courage of the young.

“Don’t steal our future – Melbourne climate strike” Photo by Takver, Flickr

Howard Thurman sees youth this way: “Youth is a time of soaring hopes, when dreams are given first wings and, as reconnoitering birds, explore unknown landscapes.  Again and again a man full of years is merely the corroboration of the dreams of his youth.  The sense of fancy growing out of the sense of fact—which makes all healthy personalities and gives a touch of romance and glory to all of life—first appears as the unrestrained imaginings of youth.” 

In the terms we have been developing in our Daily Meditations, Thurman is saying that the Moral Imagination (Via Creativa) of our youth feeds the Via Transformativa work and aspirations for the rest of our lives.  Young and old are destined to work together on this great adventure that calls us all today.  The future of the planet is bigger than any one of us–and bigger than any generation.  It is about our ancestors and our descendants, despair and promise.  We are invited to deep listening (Via Negativa) and deep acting (Via Transformativa) born of deep loving (Via Positiva).

Adapted from Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox, Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision For a New Generation, pp. xviif.
See also: Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, Jen Listug, Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action

Banner image “London March 15 2019 (15) Youth Strike 4 Climate” Photo by DAVID HOLT, Flickr

Queries for Contemplation

No matter what your age, do you taste anew the “unrestrained imaginings of youth?”  How does that moral imagination still burn in you? 

How can you rekindle the fire?  How can you link up with others and especially those of another generation to make Intergenerational Wisdom happen?

Recommended Reading

Authors Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox encourage us to use our talents in service of compassion and justice and to move beyond our broken systems–economic, political, educational, and religious–discovering a spirituality that not only helps us to get along, but also encourages us to reevaluate our traditions, transforming them and in the process building a more sacred and just world. Incorporating the words of young activist leaders culled from interviews and surveys, the book provides a framework that is deliberately interfaith and speaks to our profound yearning for a life with spiritual purpose and for a better world.

By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.” 
~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope
“The creation of the Order of the Sacred Earth is a magnificent step forward for humanity.”  ~~ Andrew Harvey, author of Way of Passion and The Hope.

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4 thoughts on “When the Young Also Lead”

  1. Avatar

    Many, many years ago when I was in my 30’s and at that time a member of the Mercy Sisters community in Dunedin, NZ. Mathew Fox gave us a wonderful couple of days of talks and celebration. In those days we had not yet begun having lay Eucharistic ministers in our part of world. Mathew asked who would like to give out communion. I volunteered and he accepted me. For me it was a very special experience and blessings! God bless our prophets!

    1. Gail Ransom

      Dear Ann,
      Thank you for your beautiful story. How times have changed! At one time, the prophetic edge was bringing women into spiritual leadership, as Matthew did with you. Now our prophetic edge is climate change and our whole planet, the air in our lungs, the storms on our coastlines, and a nearly unrecognizable future are on the edge. Spiritually empowered women like you are so important to us now. Thank you for bringing your liberation forward into our present crises.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

  2. Avatar

    Cannot get Matthew’s video to play for the last few days as red arrow is missing and won’t play without it to tap on. Can you please restore it to previous setting in order to listen to what Matthew has to say. Thank you

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Maura,
      I have sent your comment on to our tech team to see if they can find out what is happening. Meanwhile, please try to watch the video through YouTUBE. Just put the name of the video and Matt’s name in the YouTUBE search bar, and the video should pop right up. I have done this several times and it has worked for me. I hope it also works for you.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

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