"To be truly radical is to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing." - Raymond Williams

The Age of Stupid – Coming Soon?

by Shaun Chamberlin on February 14th, 2009

(Just a quickie, but the frantic process of preparing my book for publication is nearly complete, so posting here will resume in earnest soon. I have so many half-written posts to finish up! In the meantime, check out this interview I did with Carl Munson of Traydio.com the other day)

  1.  Mandy Meikle says:
    2 March, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Hi Shaun – loved your interview with Carl Munson and your closing comment made me think of this Tom Atlee quote, which is in the Transition Handbook and is quite long so I’ve cut it:

    “Whether I expect the best or the worst, my expectations interfere with my will to act…all the predictions — both good and bad — tell us absolutely nothing about what is possible. Trends and events only relate to what is probable. Probabilities are abstractions. Possibilities are the stuff of life, visions to act upon, doors to walk through. Pessimism and optimism are both distractions from living life fully.”

    It is so important that we do what we feel moved to do and hopefully our actions will help Doomers become Do-ers!

    Looking forward to your book – do you have a publication date? Couldn’t see it listed on Green Books site. Good luck with it all!

  2.  Shaun Chamberlin says:
    2 March, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Mandy, thanks. Copies of my book are available to order from the Green Books site here. I have just checked, and when the first books are dispatched depends now just on when they arrive back from the printers, but the latest they should be sent out is the week of the 16th March.

    And yes, you’ll find Tom Atlee’s work in my book too, and in my thoughts, so I’m not surprised I put you in mind of it! As you can gather from the title of this site, I’ll defend optimism as a useful tool, but he’s right to say that hiding in it can distract us.

    As Ran Prieur wrote recently, “Arguments for and against “hope” are usually semantic, and nobody notices because they haven’t clarified their definitions. The bad kind of “hope” has been defined by Derrick Jensen, in this essay, as “a longing for a future condition over which you have no agency”. I would define the good kind of hope as the confidence that if you persist, you will find a way through.”

    And then, I would add, there is faith – the belief or understanding that even if there were no “way through”, holding true to whatever we most respect – whatever makes us come most fully alive – would remain the key to a life of joy and satisfaction. Once we acknowledge and fully face the insidious creep of despair in ourselves, I have found such faith to be an even stronger shield against its debilitating effects than hope.

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