Review of Active Hope — Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone
“Some books present ideas. Some books go further to invoke feelings. While there are others, a rare few that, if you enter them with an open heart can deliver a life-changing blessing.”
Active Hope is one of these rare books. I will admit when I first saw the book, I immediately judged it by it’s cover. The good old bird flying over the sunrise made me think it was just going another attempt to make people feel good and learn to accept our current crises (read more on these here). Even the subtitle ‘How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy’ made me think that this was going to be some Pollyanna view of the sadness and danger we are facing every day, and which we are passing on to our children.
I was so very wrong. Joanna and Chris weave wisdom from the ancients with today’s dilemmas to forge a path of understanding and action. It is true to its title — it provides more than superficial short-term consolation. It provides the motivation and method for a life-time (or many life-times) of contribution.
Joanna and Chris give you a huge ‘wake-up’ slap in the face but do it with such pragmatism and compassion that you very soon feel you are amongst people that you can trust with your vulnerability and who truly care. In the first chapter I was elated by the understanding I gained of how all of the crises fit together. Half-way through I was empowered to bring about the change I would like to see in this world.
By the end of the book I was seeing hope all around me. They have helped me see that there is a Great Turning already occurring that warrants great celebration, but also dedicated support from each of us to sustain it.
Now, when I listen to the songs of Ziggy Alberts, Archie Roach, Yothu Yindi or Midnight Oil I hear the Great Turning in action.
When I watch shows such as Wild Australia: After the Fires, War on Waste, Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, Addicted Australia and In My Blood It Runs, I see faith in action creating a deeper understanding and a new conversation about what sustains life.
The extensive experience and wisdom of both authors is evident as they connect so many elements into a perspective that I had not seen before. The ideas in Active Hope provided the missing pieces of the puzzle I needed to confirm for me what I need to do make a treaty a reality (read more at Bringing Active Hope For A Treaty), and that it is actually community, at all of its different levels, that is suffering under the government focus on the economy (read more at The Economic Policy Is Killing Us).
And it is the new perspective that the authors bring which make this book such a gift, such a blessing. You will not only see things differently after reading this book, you will be different. You will see that you are part of something so much larger than yourself and you will learn how to tap into this infinite energy to drive your journey forward.
No matter how big, how small, or in whatever field, if you are looking to make any difference in this world then you need to read this book.
For more information go to: https://www.activehope.info/