In asking the question, “What does it mean to be human?” we have been unpacking the wisdom of the “10 C’s” of Creation Spirituality. Each “C” calls forth our deep humanity. The most recent “C” being Compassion. All 10 C’s are interrelated of course, and our recent lengthy meditation on Compassion naturally leads to another “C”: Community.
All compassion is based on a community awareness—that we do not exist alone or isolated or cut off from one another. “No man is an island.” No species is an island. No tribe dwells alone.
Consider the climate change emergency that we are all undergoing. The smoke from the wildfires here in the West is now stretching all the way across the Atlantic Ocean. All are experiencing its fall-out. Eco-destruction is teaching us that the modern notion of isolation and individualism is a falsehood. Interdependence is what reality is all about.
Coronavirus teaches the same lesson. This appalling “debate” whether to wear masks or not wear masks and shouts of “you are taking my liberty away” (and crazy stuff comparing mask-wearing to slavery coming from the foul mouth of a rabid attorney general) is an ugly left-over from a modern ideology of individualism carried to an extreme. Is stopping for a red light also taking one’s liberty away? That is exactly how we should see a requirement to wear masks—to prevent harm to one another; and thereby to renew our community health—including its economic health.
Nor are wildfires only a climate change and political issue in the United States. Consider this letter I recently received from Sara Thomas of the World Wildlife Fund.
From California to the Amazon, we are yet again witnessing a series of historic and destructive wildfires around the world. These fires harm the health of people, wildlife, and habitats; contribute to climate change; and cause billions of dollars in damage each year.
In tropical areas, wildfires not only threaten to destroy some of the richest biodiversity hot spots on the planet, they also erase local livelihoods, erode forest and freshwater resources, and harm the health of forest-dependent communities. Through August of this year, the number of fires in the Brazilian Amazon rain forest surged 99% over 2018 levels while the Brazilian Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland area, experienced an astonishing 1,584% increase in wildfires compared to 2018.
There are solutions.
The challenge is daunting, but the solutions are also clear. Most global deforestation is driven by the expanded production of just four agricultural commodities: palm oil, beef, soy, and timber. The United States can and should work with countries to prevent illegal deforestation and to protect biodiversity hot spots like the Amazon and Pantanal from land conversion and wildfires—and ensure that products that drive forest loss have no place in American markets.
We can demand of our politicians and political parties to combat climate change. This is community in action saving the community.
Are you standing up to those who believe wearing masks is infringing on their liberties? Do you encounter people who believe red lights infringe on their liberties also? Do you see a silver lining in the current global emergencies due to climate change and its offspring, coronavirus, that we may be waking up to a more real sense of community? What follows from that?
The A.W.E. Project: Reinventing Education, Reinventing the Human
The A.W.E. Project reminds us that awe is the appropriate response to the unfathomable wonder that is creation… A.W.E. is also the acronym for Fox’s proposed style of learning – an approach to balance the three R’s. This approach to learning, eldering, and mentoring is intelligent enough to honor the teachings of the Ancestors, to nurture Wisdom in addition to imparting knowledge, and to Educate through Fox’s 10 C’s. The 10 C’s are the core of the A.W.E. philosophy and process of education, and include: compassion, contemplation, and creativity. The A.W.E. Project does for the vast subject of “learning” what Fox’s Reinvention of Work did for vocation and Original Blessing did for theology. Included in the book is a dvd of the 10 C’s put to 10 video raps created and performed by Professor Pitt.
“An awe-based vision of educational renewal.” — Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice.