I recently had the privilege of attending the Winter Symposium: Transformation Without Apocalypse: How to Live Well on an Altered Planet. The weekend gathering invited us to explore how our own invasive species of humans on the earth might re-imagine who we are in relation to the world and how we might thrive in a post-industrial society. Some of the featured speakers included Tim DeChristopher, who spent two years in prison for sabotaging an auction on public lands in Utah to keep it out of the hands of the petroleum corporations, Sarah Van Gelder, co-founder and editor of Yes! magazine, Kathleen Dean Moore, philosopher and defender of all that is wet an wild, and Joanna Macy, true elder and activist for the Great Turning. The collective experience of all that attended brought renewed inspiration in the possibility of awakening our humanity in time to discover ways to challenge and alter the forces that our moving us towards climate chaos, privatization of water and seeds, as well as continued depletion of fossil fuels.
Each one of the speakers mentioned above is a story within itself, but I would like to share my admiration for Tim DeChristopher whose commitment towards standing up to the forces of late stage capitalism in order to slow down the impact of climate change has inspired many and spawned the activist organization Peaceful Uprising. His resistance and resilience grounds him in a way that is rarely seen. His understanding of developing a movement with soul underscores the importance of a spiritual connection to the earth that can guide us into the future where we must continually witness and honor our pain for world and from that awareness go forth with what gift we have to offer. And for some of us, like Tim, we might find the courage to suffer for our beliefs and allow that experience to become our strength. Here is a recent interview with Bill Moyers and Tim DeChristopher that offers a glimpse into the character of this activist.