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Paul Hawken - Blessed Unrest

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global oneness project Blessed Unrest The book "Blessed Unrest" started in 1999 in Seattle, and I was there and when I left I read articles that had been written in "The Post" and "The Times" and "Newsweek" Paul Hawken - Northern California - Environmentalist, Entrepreneur, Author and I thought they were so off the mark, and in some cases written by people who weren't even there; they just happened to call news feeds and then make a whole myth about it. So I wrote a piece about it, and one thing led to another, and I thought I should write a book about what I saw, not just at Seattle, but I thought something happened there that was very unusual, which is that there were really thousands of organizations that came together or that, in a sense, fed what happened in Seattle. It was not just a group of protestors, as has been often said. And the method of organization in Seattle really arose from the encuentras in 1990 and 1992 in Quito, Ecuador, where the indigenous peoples of the Americas got together for the first time to meet since the conquest. And they used a Mayan form of organization and process for those meetings, and that became the methodology used in Chiapas by Subcomandante Marcos and also was the methodology used in Seattle. And I thought, 'This is really fascinating. Something's going on here.' 'There's kind of a connection between these organizations in the world' 'that is sort of underground and quiet and not secret but simply unremarked upon.' And so I started to think about writing about it, and I went through title after title after title and none of them worked at all. They just seemed off. And then when I was in Namibia--I was in Africa, and I came across this Martha Graham quote, and it seemed to me "blessed unrest" was a term that had arms big enough to hold the diversity and the depth and the heart of this movement. And it came about according to Agnes de Mille, who had dinner with Martha Graham one night. Agnes de Mille was kvetching, complaining about a show she had choreographed called "Rodeo" and that she won awards for, and she came back six months later and it was a mess, and she was ashamed that her name was on the marquee. And when they walked back to Martha Graham's house and they stopped at her stoop, Martha Graham turned to Agnes de Mille and said to Agnes de Mille, "We are artists." Like, hello. "And we are never satisfied. There is always this queer dissatisfaction, this blessed unrest," "that makes us march and makes us more alive than the other." And I thought, "Um-hmm. That's right. She got that one." And that, to me, was the description, that was the thing that was common everywhere I've been in the world where I've seen people, seen organizations, seen groups, is that this queer dissatisfaction, this blessed unrest, makes us more alive. In a way, it's like the Bodhisattva vow, it's, "I'm here to save all sentient beings." In a sense, people have taken that vow all over the world. What is so extraordinary is that people are working on behalf of people they don't know and they're working on behalf of people from whom they will never receive benefit, and they're doing this in a really selfless way. I'm not trying to extol or to place them on pillars or anything; I'm just saying that this is what's happening. And that movement itself, that goes back really to the abolitionist movement started in the 1780s in England where people got together to really stop a horrific activity, which is the trade in slaves, undertaken by the British Empire at that time. And they were laughed at, they were made fun of, they were derided, they were told they had wrecked the British economy, they were misunderstood, people said, "Why would you work on behalf of people you don't know or never see?" "You're not going to benefit from it. Don't you have a job?" They were called the same names that we hear today: the radicals, do-gooders, they were meddling in affairs they had no business in, they didn't understand the importance of slavery. All this sort of stuff was thrown at them, and what's so important about the abolitionists for us today was not just that they succeeded but that it was the first time that people organized themselves on behalf of others they would never know and from whom they would not receive benefit. And more and more of us want to do that, and we know that what we need to do is act in such a way that allows other people to be free. That's happening in every city, every culture, every country. There is no place in the world where this is not happening. There are places where it's occurring where it's dangerous. It's happening in places where people get killed and shot more often. It's happening in places where the governments try to control the NGOs and nonprofits, like in China. But there is no place where it is not occurring. It's the largest social movement in the history of humankind by far. Nothing compares to it. - Footage courtesy of the Pachamama Alliance

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 41 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre: None
Views: 83
Posted by: global on Sep 25, 2009

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