When we’re honest with ourselves, we recognize that we as inhabitants of the Earth are entering a time of enormous change. It is a time of loss, to be sure, with species becoming extinct and all of us facing the extreme and unpredictable repercussions of climate change.
But it is also a time of powerful new energy as people come together to determine not just how we will survive, but how we will thrive in meaningful ways.
What will our New Story be? In his book, Madness at the Gates of the City, Barry Spector writes about the deeply ingrained perceptions and behaviors that have wreaked the havoc of patriarchy, white privilege, narcissism, and violence in our culture.
What will be the New Story? We cannot know, Spector says, because we are currently in the midst of creating it. However, he writes in a recent blog, this is what we do know:
If we survive, our stories will not fit into any of the three major patterns that crushed the older stories and have dominated our thinking for centuries since. First, they will not be stories of original sin, patriarchy, dualism, monotheism, sacrifice of the children, disconnection from the Earth, or any other simplistic, all-purpose fundamentalism. Secondly, they will not consist of the movement of dead matter from the Big Bang through billions of arbitrary combinations of elements into a life that lacks any sense of purpose. And they will not express the third alternative, the cynical view that “it’s always been like this, it’s human nature.” So it follows that they will reject capitalism’s origin myths of individualism, ruthless competition and social Darwinism.
Radical Joy for Hard Times invites you to be part of the creation of the New Story. What will you do to love the beauty around you, bravely face the pain of its loss, and dedicate yourself to making new beauty where there is waste? What can you do today to create a piece of the Story you want to live?
Trebbe Johnson

Trebbe Johnson
Trebbe JohnsonFounder
Trebbe is the author of The World Is a Waiting Lover and 101 Ways to Make Guerrilla Beauty. Her new book, Radical Joy for Hard Times: Finding Meaning and Making Beauty, will be published in Fall 2018 by North Atlantic Books. Her articles about people’s emotional and spiritual relationship with nature have appeared in Orion, Sierra, Ecopsychology, The Ecologist, The Nation, Harper’s and other magazines. She lives with her husband, Andrew Gardner, in rural northeastern Pennsylvania, a region currently under exploitation by natural gas companies.

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