“Active Hope” Book Review & Author Reading

Active HopeActive Hope: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy
By Joanna Macy; Chris Johnstone
(New World Library, March 2012)

By Alyssa McFarland

Are you concerned about the Earth and the welfare of those who live on it? Are you worried about the mess we are leaving to future generations? Are you sometimes so overwhelmed by all that needs to be done that you just want to give up in despair? This book can help, with its advice, stories and exercises.

Although the primary focus of Active Hope is to help environment-minded individuals, I found a lot of what the authors had to say applicable to paralyzing personal dilemmas as well. For example, I loved the suggestion to imagine yourself in the future having succeeded in what you set about to do. In that mindset, you can use imaginary hindsight to figure out what steps you need to get from now to the outcome you desire.

One parallel drawn by the authors compares us to the protagonists in the great adventure tales. “Almost always, the protagonists find their way through by drawing on the fellowship of allies, by serving a purpose much bigger than themselves, by discovering strengths previously hidden from view, and by having enough humility to learn from others.” So next time you feel like Frodo in Lord of the Rings with a nearly impossible task ahead of you, you might keep this in mind!

Through giving to others and one’s community, even in the tiniest way, we can help make a difference. Even sharing our ideas with others can be of help. I found this to be a very inspiring book!


Find this book!

Seattle Public Library: http://seattle.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2774280030_active_hope

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781577319726

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13235686-active-hope


2012_shemper_joannamacy_tara4dfa2fdAuthor Joanna Macy will be giving a talk entitled “In the Fullness of Time” at Nalanda West on May 6th.

Nalanda West (Mahabodhi Shrine Room)
3902 Woodland Park Ave North
6:30 Gather
7:00 pm Joanna Macy Talk
9:30 End

All participants (whether planning to attend in person or online) can donate here. Pre-registration is encouraged: https://shop.nalandawest.org/searchresults.asp?cat=1842

Requested donation at the door, sliding scale $10-$25. No one turned away for lack of funds.

This talk will also be webcast live: http://new.livestream.com/accounts/2039290/events/2001179



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