Future

Wake Up! How to Take Fierce Action in Three Decades

A follow-up on Umair Haque’s words of despair. Wake up, my friends, wake up! This is how you can be part of the solution.

Desiree Driesenaar
Jun 26, 2020 · 8 min read
Nasa Fleet Web. Missions present through 2023. Will it give us safety? Or is it a fake-sense-of-security?

It’s chaos in the world. I can feel it in my veins, I can feel it in my bones. And it invades my sleep. Crystal clear dreams merge with my everyday reality. By night I let it go. And by day I write about it. Among other things. Actual projects fill the rest of my right livelihood.

Many people, from all over the world, reach out.

  • An economics professor in the Brazilian mega-city Sao Paolo asks me to give regenerative business model examples to her hungry, eager students.
  • An organization busy with nature-based infrastructure solutions asks me to write a vision document, linking the current needs in the world to their very concrete activities.
  • An Austrian team connecting corporates with start-ups has the aim to unleash resilient business models. They are inspired by regenerative examples.
  • Children ask me to have fun. So we go swimming in natural water together. I point out all nature’s wonders and tell stories piquing their curiosity. They devour the fun, the knowledge, the journey.
  • And then I rest. I sit on the terrace with my love, talk a little, and hear the birds sing their busy songs. Chattering as if nothing is amiss. But we both know better…

This is my life. I have fun doing all this. It makes my days inspiring, active, and purposeful. But is it enough, I often wonder? Enough to turn our world around? Enough to get us through the chaos into a new order of being?

Many people still think we can control the world. It’s like the picture at the top. We, humans, think we are almighty.

We change the weather by injecting clouds with chemicals. We feed ourselves by fighting nature with pesticides. And all the while, we pollute our waters, contaminate the air we breathe, and fight with each other about who’s right.

Is it fake? This sense of security we try to create by controlling nature?

We’re so busy fighting nature and each other, we fail to see what’s in front of us. Opportunities to do it differently. To live as part of nature…

Today I read a piece by umair haque. One of the well-known writers on this platform. He SHAKES AWAKE. And I mean really shaking hard!

Friends, friends, wake up! What we’re experiencing now with COVID is nothing! There is no normal to go back to.

Wake up, wake up!

Our planet, our home, is on fire and we need to act. Soon, the results in the form of bushfires, tornadoes, big floods, and many more zoonotic diseases caused by viruses will be everywhere.

Let’s get our act together and do something!

Well, if this was a horror movie, we would be smart. Come up with some clever solution. Helped a little by luck, synchronicity, serendipity, or whatever you call it.

We would work together. Often there are wise helpers in a film like that. Or we would find ways to get over the bickering within a group of friends and act-as-one to solve whatever adversity we have to face.

Why not take the same approach now? Let’s explore…

Umair has more often been my inspiration to get into my fierce mode and shake the proverbial tree.

He did it again.

This is what he wrote.

Some important quotes from this story:

I don’t know if you’ve heard yet — there’s been a lot of other stuff going on lately — but the Arctic is on fire.

“Wait. How should we think about the future? Is it going to be as apocalyptic as this? What should we do about it??!!”

“The future goes like this. The next three to five decades are going to be apocalyptic. Beyond anyone’s worst expectations, really. Coronavirus will seem like a gentle warm-up exercise. A mere drill.”

“So how do we not get there? There is, to my mind, one answer: Coexistence.

“The first level of coexistence is that we need to learn to coexist with inanimate nature. Rivers, oceans, mountains, and so forth. We cannot simply keep on depleting and destroying these natural resources, because we depend on them much more than they depend on us.”

“The second level of coexistence is that we need to learn to coexist with animate nature. Animals, great and small.”

We can’t learn to coexist with the world around us until we learn to coexist with each other.

What do you think now that you’ve read this?

“It can never be so bad. Let’s take a glass of wine.”

“O, my God, what if he’s right? I feel the goosebumps on my skin. Let’s go deep under the covers and wait until it’s over.”

“Well, my head is filled with corona-sh*t and racism-sh*t already. I can’t handle any more sh*t. So let’s go for some entertainment. Joehoe!”

All valid reactions and I see them all around me.

Is Umair right? To be honest, I don’t know how bad it will be. No one knows. But he might well be right. It’s not unrealistic. Don’t you feel the chaos getting stronger? Don’t you feel we’re on the brink of big happenings?

Leaders are getting nervous. Lashing out. They feel it too.

And all the while, nature is building her temperature steadily. Causing extreme weather, ultra-hot summers. Hurricanes. It’s like a merry-go-round spinning faster and faster. Until she gets out of our control.

As if we were in control ever. Duh.

Human control is an illusion we cherish. We try hard. But on this path of trying to fight nature and gaining control over our planet, using destructing technologies, we’ll never make it work.

Umair is right on that account.

Coexisting is the only way. Coexisting with nature. Coexisting with each other. And we have to learn how. All of us. Because it depends on us all whether we are going to succeed in surviving on this planet.

What are the steps we can take to learn coexistence?

Facing facts can be hard. We feel overwhelmed. We want to hide. To make it go away. But it doesn’t.

So, let’s stop our thinking mode. Let’s make our heads quieter by facing our thoughts and emotions and then letting them go. Meditation might help. Physical activity such as sports might help. Just don’t see it as a distraction. Don’t go for entertainment only. Face your fears in the process.

It’s smart to feel the chaos. Feel the despair. Feel the complexity of all that’s going on. You don’t have to find solutions right now. Just feel.

Feel in your body. Let the feelings of despair, anger, and grief flow into the earth. Heal yourself and the earth in the process. Perhaps helped by programs made for just this purpose. Or if you can do it on your own, just do it.

Start somewhere and keep learning as you go along. You are your own guru. All the wisdom you need is already there.

Here are some suggestions to get you going.

Everyone has a role in the transition. Some people are storytellers, others want to be active with children. We have the entrepreneurs, the lawyers, the philosophers, the farmers. Some are activists, others choose a modest role behind the curtains. All roles are good.

You choose what fits you. Nobody asks you to go against your soul. No, the time is here to FIND your soul and act in line with this beautiful soul of yours.

When you are ready to face the music, choose the role that suits you best.

And start the action.

The goal is clear.

Like Umair says, we need to learn how to coexist.

All actions in favor of life, broad life, are valuable.

This is a step we can all take. If you set your intention on being a co-creator, you can mirror yourself constantly. Ask yourself deep questions. Is this coexisting or am I going against nature?

One easy step is to make your life simpler. Focus on basic needs. Accumulate less stuff you don’t need anyway.

Stop impressing others with stuff.

Stop filling the hole in your heart by shopping.

Stop needing a big house just to hoard stuff you don’t need.

Your life will be simpler, easier, less expensive. And maybe one day, you might be able to do as I do and choose complete freedom. Quit your job and just do what you like to do. What your soul wants you to do.

Design your own fulfilling, adventurous right-livelihood.

The new entrepreneurs want to have resilient business models. They don’t want to be one-day-wonders. They want to have lasting success. And as we all know by now the regular models are not resilient at all. They all topple over with the first adversity, like now in COVID-times.

Well, the good news is that regenerative business models are very resilient.

Here’s some information about how these models work.

  • They create multiple values, multiple benefits instead of just money.
  • They incorporate ecosystem services into their models and give back to nature.
  • They use synergy instead of scale as an economic driver and stack value upon value upon value.
  • They design with local, abundantly available materials, either upcycling local waste streams or using abundantly growing crops such as bamboo, industrial hemp, various grasses, layered food forests, etc.
  • They only use technologies that support life. Not the ones that destroy life.

Well, there’s enough to learn. So get savvy with these models and unleash some regenerative business! Enough inspiring co-creators around to collaborate with and be inspired by.

As you can see, there’s no need to put your head under the covers. We can all do our bit and help the transition into a more beautiful world of coexistence.

Learning how to coexist is fun. And oh so rewarding, I can tell you.

Maybe three little tips that might help as well:

  • Connect to nature. Learn how to feel nature (in a broad sense, nature is more than just a tree or an animal) and realize you are part of nature, not separate from it.
  • Connect to yourself. Take the time and learn how to listen to your soul.
  • Connect to others. This involves deep listening, compassion, and realizing we all have our own patterns of thinking. First, realize you have those ruts and then train yourself to get out of them. To view broadly and stop judging others.

We all do our best. We’re on this journey together.

Let’s live it. Together.

Happy co-existing!

Climate Conscious

Building a collective vision for a better tomorrow

Desiree Driesenaar

Written by

Curious about life. Systemic, upstream solutions. Aligning economy, ecology, and the human spirit. Free spirit. ✽ https://www.linkedin.com/in/desireedriesenaar

Climate Conscious

Bringing people together from around the world to discuss how to tackle the climate crisis and build a collective vision for a better tomorrow.

Desiree Driesenaar

Written by

Curious about life. Systemic, upstream solutions. Aligning economy, ecology, and the human spirit. Free spirit. ✽ https://www.linkedin.com/in/desireedriesenaar

Climate Conscious

Bringing people together from around the world to discuss how to tackle the climate crisis and build a collective vision for a better tomorrow.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store