As 2019 draws to a close, we find ourselves not only reflecting on a year full of both business and personal development, but tentatively bracing ourselves for what 2020 will bring. It almost feels like an ominous date that has been etched in our minds for years now; certain expectations of where we’ll be as a society, what the world will look like, have we met our commitments or targets? We’ve spoken a lot about how we’ve been navigating the precarious time we’re living in; balancing radical realties with courage and vulnerability, and as we move forward into a decade that will surely make or break us in more ways than one, we wanted to share with you our personal learnings and hopefully inspire us all to start building and imagining a better, more nurturing future.
While Australia suffers unprecedented climatic conditions and we witness the suffering of our neighbours, our flora and our native species it can be hard to grapple with the sense of powerlessness in the face of such tragedy. But it’s not all doom and gloom, although our governments seem to no longer serve us as a community, we must remember it is within our power to create change that can have a lasting effect. We’ve already witnessed the stoic strength of those currently affected by the NSW and QLD fires, the communities rallying together to save homes, lives and bushland. We’ve also spent this last year being involved with the Fight for The Bight rallies and the Climate Strikes and witnessed the true power of the people. Although it may feel like our future is hanging in the balance, and we do truly need to sit with that uncertainty, there are so many opportunities to start shaping and transforming the path that lies ahead.
We all know the perfect antidote to feeling powerless is to take action, with even the smallest shift in behavioural choices having a ripple on effect. We’ve witnessed in ourselves that the simple act of using a re-usable cup can be the catalyst to re-evaluating every choice you make. The same can be said for education; once you’re exposed to certain information, those key learnings naturally become part of your filtering processes applied to the world around you. For us it has been a journey of continually inviting small changes into our lives, like the adoption of a more plant-based diet, being discerning in the products we buy and where we shop, educating ourselves, advocating for the things we care about, engaging with our local community and councils – like getting to know our neighbours or participating in a paddle out protest – and balancing this with good mental and physical health routines. Although it may seem like a lot, and we don’t get it right all the time, it’s important to acknowledge these changes come gradually and naturally inform each other, once you start figuring out your values your actions tend to align with them.
For now, we want to take the time to appreciate what we have and shine a light on those who inspire us every day to keep up the good work. We strongly acknowledge the varying capacity and accessibility everyone has to be engaged with the current climate and social crisis, but here are a few people and businesses we think are doing amazing work;
- Join the regeneration and activate your 2040 plan with Damon Gameau
- Follow young voices that are crucial to societal change like artist Aretha Brown
- Join the Matters Journal community and read about stories that matter
- Donate to foundations prioritising regeneration
- Plant a tree! Work with the land, get your hands dirty (because you need those microbes)
- Listen to informative podcasts like Dumbo Feather and Clare Press’s ‘Wardrobe Crisis’
- Show your support to the younger generation of change makers and sign up to School Strike for Climate
- For fire relief donate The Australian Red Cross Appeal, Wires Emergency Fund, Give It or to your local fire service
- And remember ‘we can’t distinguish our personal health from the health of everything else’ (Wendell Berry) so practice compassion and generosity because we’re all in this together.
Finally, one of the most important aspects for us is engaging deeply with this moment of reckoning we’re all facing, because without acknowledgement we cannot truly begin our re-imagining of the human story.