Almost two centuries ago Charles Darwin toured the Galapagos Islands, doing the research that led to his theory of evolution. He particularly focused on finches that seemed to be different from island to island, developing different sized beaks for different kinds of seeds. More current researchers have discovered how quickly beak size can change from year to year depending upon changes in the weather. A dry year, where only large hard seeds are available, will produce birds with larger beaks within a generation--one breeding season--through the process of what Darwin termed natural selection. A wet year, with plenty of green vegetation and smaller seeds, will reverse that adaptation the following year, as more of the smaller beaked birds will reproduce. The evolutionary changes in the birds are in a direct relationship with the available food supply.
So what do we feed and how do we feed our story to direct its evolution? There is a story of an old Cherokee man teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside of me, between two wolves. One is angry, envious, greedy, arrogant. The other is joy, love and peace, humility, kindness, compassion.” The grandson asks: “Which will win?” "The one I feed,” replies the Grandfather. There is much scientific evidence emerging that attention helps grow something, exemplified by the teachings of the secret life of plants, where attention paid produces a more vibrant plant. Where do we place our attention? What is our true North? What guides us along our journey when we can’t see the future?
This website is focused on surviving and thriving into our future. So we highlight emerging stories like Permaculture and Gender Reconciliation that model how humans can live in harmony and balance with each other and our planet. Our intention of focusing on these stories is to bring attention to, i.e., to feed that which is working, that which is already in alignment with life's processes. Therefore, we start by pointing our compass towards that which is life-affirming. Stephan Schwartz calls this Quotidian Choices. In every moment of every day, choose the more life-affirming options. Angeles Arrien, the cultural anthropologist, calls us to “Pay attention to what has heart and meaning.” Duane Elgin asks us to shift our core concept of the universe from dead to living. John Perkins calls for us to move away from the Death Economy into a Living Economy. When we put our attention to what is living, what has heart and meaning, and what creates wellness, our lives move towards beauty, wholeness and fulfillment.
To feed a new story, get engaged with any one of the stories in the Emerging Stories section and help feed it into being by participating, talking about it, training in it. Below are some of the current opportunities where you can get more involved in evolving the story.