Cultivating Personal and Collective Resilience in the Climate Crisis
The foundational principles of my work
Young people are and will be the frontlines of climate disruption over the next 50-100 years. It is their generation that will need to be most existentially, emotionally, and spiritually equipped to engage in that work for the long haul. In order to do so, they will need to desire and thrive in, not just fear and barely survive, that future.
The solutions to climate disruption will not only be technical, political, and economic; they will be existential or internal. As Grace Lee Boggs has written, “transform yourself to transform the world.” Protecting our interior resources is as important as protecting environmental and cultural resources. What skills are best suited for that work? Some have called this turn to the role of our mental health as essential for tackling the problems of climate change “adaptive” or “deep adaptation” as opposed to “technical” solutions. Those will be needed as well, but my work focuses on interiority. Mental health is just not a byproduct of a healthy environment; our existential resilience is necessary for the work of building the world we desire.
College education should not just be about learning content about all of the problems of the world; it must also provide the emotional awareness and skills to cope with witnessing and addressing those problems. Developing an imagination for alternative modes of living, and having a stake in a transformed future, are just as important as learning how bad things are in the present.