Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Peace Through Creativity

I've written about how we can create planetary peace by telling ourselves a new story about the world we've created. Celia Fenn takes this concept a step further by advocating creativity itself as the way through and beyond anger and despair.

In her current Earthlog, she writes, "Peace is not just the absence of conflict ... it is a profound state of consciousness that expresses compassion, love and unity through creativity. In order to move beyond conflict in our lives and globally, we need to enter into this state of creativity, harmony and peace."

What does creative peacemaking look like? Celia quotes Brazilian Jaime Lerner, who speaks about changing cities through stewardship: "When I was governor, we had to clean the bays. In our state we proposed to the fishermen the equation of co-responsibility. We said: 'If you catch the fish, the fish belong to you. If you catch the garbage we are going to pay you. The more you fish garbage, the more money you will have.' The more they cleaned the bay, they more fish they had. That's a win-win solution."

Lerner maintains that global issues such as climate change, food shortages, resource depletion and sustainability are not "terminal"; we must not give up in fear that there's nothing we can do to change what we have created.

The more creative we can be in shifting our perspective on cities themselves, and on the problems that need to be solved, the closer we'll be to a truly new world.

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