A conversation with Barbara Cecil and Dahr Jamail, co-authors of the ‘How Then Shall We Live?’ series published at Truthout. An excerpt:
What I’ve learned is when you really listen, and I mean go really quiet — put all the mental jargon aside and just get really quiet and really, really humble and really listen to the Earth — then I believe that each one of us is going to get our own personal marching orders of “here’s what you’re going to do, here’s what I need you to do.” That’s where I’ve gotten my messages to go to Iraq, to do the book that I did with ‘The End of Ice,’ and so many other big decisions in my life — and small ones. When I go out there, I listen and I get this clear message, and I always know what to do. And I really believe that now is that time for people to — don’t run around and panic. Don’t light your hair on fire. Don’t go out and see what other ten more things you can do, or how many articles you can forward and all this. But just stop and get really, really quiet and touch down into the Earth and really listen and see what comes up into your heart. When you ask: “What is it that I need to do to really serve this planet?” — because I think if we do that, and in the proper context of understanding that it is too late….
You’re not going to get all that heat out of the oceans. The oceans have absorbed ninety-three percent of the heat we’ve put into the atmosphere. That heat is staying there and it’s increasing and it’s not going to go away. We’re not going to turn this thing around.
In the context of knowing the great loss that’s now upon us what is the most important thing for me to do? And for some people it might be “I need to play music,” and that’s great because God knows we need music right now. And for some people it might mean “I’m going to write a book.” Barbara and my good friend Colin MacIntosh just went and got arrested, and he’s in Extinction Rebellion. All power to him.
But my point is that if you really listen in closely and get that call for what you need to do, and understand that it’s in the context that we really have nothing left to lose — I would argue that that’s going to generate an activism and actions taken from love that could never happen in the context of “oh do this because this book tells you to do it,” or “go to this march because we’re organizing it,” and “we have a permit on this date we’re going to do this….”
I’m talking about doing things way more radical and way further outside of the box than a lot of this stuff that we see happening right now. I’m talking about real risk.
Barbara Cecil is the author of ‘Coming Into Your Own: A Woman’s Guide Through Life Transitions.’ Barbara Cecil’s Master’s degree in speech communication and human relations has supported her in her calling to assist individuals, groups, teams, and organizations toward the full manifestation of their creative potential.
Dahr Jamail is an award-winning journalist who (formerly) reported on climate disruption and environmental issues for the online publication Truthout. Dahr is the author of multiple books, including ‘The End Of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption.’