Book Review: Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone
When many of us think about the state of the environment it can feel like such an overwhelming task to create change. The book Active Hope by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone is an invitation to explore how we can remain positive, replenished and active in the work to sustain the environment.
Any change process requires us to look at ourselves first and how the culture we live in perpetuates consumerism, individualistic attitudes, and creates messages that negate what is truly happening to the environment. What is called “the business as usual strategy” that prevents positive change from happening. De-constructing this business as usual strategy is not about feeling guilty about how or what we consume rather it provides an opportunity to bring awareness to capitalism, mass consumerism and the ecological impacts in a critical and compassionate way. This awareness raising provides pathways for individual, community and global change.
As an eco-philosopher and scholar Buddhism, Joanna Macy weaves in Buddhist philosophy and eco-spirituality through the book. It is easy to forget just how integral the earth is to our survival, plants, animals and the whole eco-system. Active Hope reminds us this earth we live in something to hold with great reverence and gratitude for. We can become “active participants in bringing about what we hope for” – Active Hope provides practical tools to help us to remain energized, re-connected and inspired so that this planet earth is sustainable for future generations.
About JoannaMacy and Chris Johnstone
Ecophilosopher Joanna Macy, PhD, is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in the movements for peace, justice, and ecology, she interweaves her scholarship with five decades of activism. As the root teacher of the Work That Reconnects, she has created a groundbreaking theoretical framework for personal and social change, as well as a powerful workshop methodology for its application.
Chris Johnstone is a medical doctor, author, and coach who worked for nearly twenty years as an addictions specialist in the UK National Health Service. Chris has been a trainer in the Work That Reconnects for more than two decades, working with Joanna on many occasions and running facilitator trainings in the United Kingdom.
About the Author: Angela Kayira teaches Yoga at Heart Centre Yoga in Burnaby. Her teaching is informed by her work as a social worker. Angela is a registered Yoga Teacher (E-500 RYT), the co-director of In Life School of Yoga and co-hosts the In Life School of Yoga Book Club.