Global Activism Movement
Author Paul Hawken talks about the quantity and variety of people and organizations involved in the global activism movement.
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Sometimes, revolution isn't big and noisy. Sometimes, it starts quietly in our own backyards. That is what Paul Hawken found out. He began counting the number of people in organizations who are trying to make the world a better place, and found over a million of them. It is a remarkable number, according to Hawken. As an environmentalist, journalist, and eco-entrepreneur dedicated to bettering the relationship between businesses and the environment, Hawken finds the trend incredibly significant.
He writes about the sea change in his book, "Blessed Unrest." The participants of the movement are not limited to the stereotypes, according to Hawken. "There's schoolchildren and nuns and ecofeminists and Engineers Without Borders and Doctors Without Borders and grieving Muslims and grieving Christians and grieving Buddhists. There are farmers and poets and fisherpeople; they're everyone in the world, every culture, every language, every city. This movement is everywhere in the world without exception."
There is a religious or spiritual component to the global activism movement, says Hawken. "When I was tracing back the history of this movement, I went to the transcendentalists, then it goes to the abolisionists, Clarkson, Wilburforce, in the 1780s and 90s in London. But, what is interesting about about the abolitionists is that it was the first time a group of human beings got together to organize themselves on behalf of people who were suffering that they did not know, would not ever know, and for whom there would be no direct or indirect benefit for themselves. Now we take that for granted, that schoolchildren, people in organizations, NGOs, do that all of the time, but that was the first time it happened."
The future is promising for the global activism movement, with participants filling the ranks every day. "People are waking up and making decisions to give up sometimes very lucrative jobs, sometimes they don't have jobs at all, sometimes they go from school with good degrees and go into this work because this work, I think, is the most fulfilling and meaningful work there is."
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