stephanie jones

Blessed Unrest Review by Paul B. Scudder

In conservation, creativity, critical literacy, democracy, freedom, great books, justice, politics, poverty, professional development resources, social action, teacher education resources on August 12, 2008 at 2:44 pm

Paul Scudder is a fine arts, commercial, and portrait photographer, master naturalist, and long-time friend of mine. Here’s his review of Blessed Unrest.

Blessed Unrest – How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World by Paul Hawken

“Teach your children what we have taught ours, that the earth is our mother.  Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons [and daughters] of the earth.  The earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth.  Man did not weave the web of life; he is merely a strand in it.  We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”                                                ~ Chief Seattle, Suquamish Tribe

Author Paul Hawken develops a theory in this inspiring New York Times Bestseller that the world’s citizens are in the throes of a movement.  A movement that many of them are unaware exists outside of their own circumstances.  Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) ranging from one-person internet bloggers to large non-profits throughout the world are busy each day trying to create awareness for a cause they hold dear and trying and change the minds of individuals, governments, and corporations that are working against them.  Millions of these NGOs throughout the world are part of a larger “movement” that is working from the ground up to change the planet on which we live.

Hawken draws a correlation between the need for social justice, restoration of the environment, and protection of indigenous cultures.  He believes that an individual or NGO must care about all of these issues to be successful in their own cause.   You can not have one without the others.  All three of these issues are the result of runaway abuses of the “free market” economy that is currently enveloping the globe by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the multi-national corporations that are its members.

Blessed Unrest’s contention is that we must demand that governments and multi-national corporations provide a fair and decent wage to their employees, protect and preserve the indigenous cultures in the areas they are using, and do it all in a way that does not harm the environment.  Corporations can no longer be allowed to acquire land, displace peoples, and impoverish local workers all in the name of the “free market” system.

The text of this 325 page book is less than 190 pages. The remaining pages include a 105 page taxonomy of over 1 million types of non-profit groups that exist throughout the globe that are involved in the “movement”.  Additionally, Hawken backs the claims he makes in his thesis with 25 pages of footnotes and bibliography.

This book is a must read for anyone who cares about true democracy and freedom, cultural preservation, the environment, or the world that we will leave to our children.

“Blessed Unrest is exciting, compelling and very important. . . It will Inspire and encourage millions more to take action.”
~ Jane Goodall


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