NINE STEPS – A multi-faceted invitation to participate in the OneEarth.University co-operative learning network.
The Web of Life is our classroom, the future of all life on Earth is our project
Join us is building a better world through transformative learning, attitude change, skill development, public advocacy, emotional support and community building, that will allow us...
- to appreciate and serve the Web of Life more deeply
- to resist the poisoning and destruction of the biosphere more creatively and compassionately
- to build a sustainable world that works for everyone (starting by embodying ourselves the ecological virtues the world need to practice).
We invite you to make use of the resources presented here, and join our extended community, by forming or joining one or more independent Teams-of-Two, working groups and/or study circles. We hope you will help us expand the side-by-side multi-faceted role of the “LLEARMM-ER” and “LLEARMM-ING” (lifelong-learner-encourager-activist-researcher-mutual-mentor) as a new step in the evolution of ecology and peace organizing. Many of the topics that we address here at OneEarthU, such as global warming, nuclear contamination, and the global extinction crisis, have profoundly challenging aspects, beyond the range of ordinary college subjects:
First, they are often emotionally challenging topics to think about, often evoking grief, rage and hysterical denial. So all of our activities are interwoven with invitations to understand, give, and receive emotional support in the forms of acknowledgement, witnessing and companionship. In this we are especially inspired by Joanna Macy.
Second, these topics will almost always challenge us to develop new skills and strengths as advocates, negotiators, informed citizens and just plain survivors. So all of our activities at OneEarthU are interwoven with invitations to develop your personal strengths and skills, and to accompany other in that same process. In this we are especially inspired by Gandhi, Carl Rogers and Marshall Rosenberg.
The Spiral-Journey Resilience Map of skills and strengths is one possible map of the personal strengths needed to stay involved with deeply difficult topics. We invite you to explore it and also to become a LLEARMM-ER in relation to the emerging field of resilience studies. Here are nine suggested steps for becoming a OneEarthU Independent Learner-Co-Mentor-Activist:
1. Review the topics that we explore and develop, as listed in our Resource/Study Areas by Topic page. (You are invited to become a volunteer librarian/translator for any of our topic pages.)
2. Review the scholar-activist-mentors whose work we explore and promote by visiting our Resource/Study Areas by Person page. (You are invited to become a volunteer librarian for any of our mentor pages.)
3. Pick a topic or person that you would like to make the focus of your independent study and advocacy activities. Here are some suggestions and reflections about picking a topic (from Step 17 in the Spiral Journey Empowerment & Resilience Map):
- Faced with all the contending appeals for help in the world, I suggest that you commit yourself to the topic/issue that most inspires you to love more deeply and to live more fully. (Inspired by sayings of St. Teresa and St. Augustine)
- A person who follows their deepest calling with love is much more likely to awaken the love and sense of calling in others, thus increasing the total amount of love energy moving in and through the world.
- Only the causes that move us to love, will move us to master the details and disciplines of our area of concern. Thus, the more we are moved to love, the better advocates we may become.
- The Shamanism of Lovingkindness: What we care about deeply fills us with its power and cares/acts through us to mend the world. (Thanks to Joanna Macy for this deep idea.)
4. Read our orientation documents, which outline our guiding principles, goals and Teams-of-Two vision of ecological study and advocacy:
- LLEARMM-ing: Peer Learning for the Great Turning
- Teams-of-Two: A Model for Personal Unfolding, Citizen Activism and Social Transformation, explains our vision of organizing our participants into independent supportive pairs.
- The Spiral Journey Empowerment & Resilience Map: Review the twenty-four skill and strength areas and note the areas in which you would like to develop
- Companions in the Storm, Companions in Blessing: Explores the role of deep friendship in the mending of a broken world.
5. Reach out to at least one other person who is interested in your study/action topic. For example, you can use the Internet to host a local “meet up” focused on your topic. Or you can use your Facebook page, or a local newspaper, to announce that you are interested in that topic and would like to find a study partner. (For safety reasons, ECE strongly recommends meeting your study partners online via Skype or Google Hangout, or in public places such as bookstores or cafés.)
6. Meeting as a Team-of-Two, Working Group or Study Circle, develop a three-month to one-year project agreement, a study and advocacy goal, in relation to your chosen topic. If you decide to read a book by Gandhi, for example, you could write a book review and contribute it to the ECE online libraries. Please consider participating in and cooperating with existing local or national peace, ecology and human rights organizations such as Earth Island Institute, 350.org, Sierra Club, ACLU, Center for Constitutional Rights, etc. But participate as at least a Team-of-Two, always connected as a companion-in-conscience to at least one other person on an ongoing basis. Many of these organizations have inspiring goals, but not much in the way emotional support for long term engagement with difficult issues. 7. Work on your project with your Team-of-Two partner or Working Group. As your project continues, invite others with similar interests to join with you. Introduce them to the ideas of personal strength development and emotional support for long term engagement with difficult issues. Consider volunteering to coordinate a Working Group / Study Circle / “Virtual Campfire” for your topic. (We are in the process of installing the software to host Virtual Campfires). Use MeetUp.com to organize a public meeting, or series of meetings, on your topic. Set aside time for emotional expression. Make inquiries of one another about what feelings are coming up in the course of the project. At least once a month, review all the twenty-four topics in the Spiral Journey Empowerment & Resilience Map as way of bringing up issues that may need expression. 8. Share the results of your Team-of-Two activity with a larger community by circulating your work with friends, posting it on Facebook, starting a blog that documents your activity, and contributing a written report, mp3 or video to the C.U.E.Libraries.* 9. Reflect, learn, plan. At the end of your agreed-upon time frame, reflect together on what you have accomplished, what you have learned, and what you would do differently. Consider continuing your existing project agreement, Team-of-Two, or Working Group. Consider creating a new one of any of these, possibly with new participants. And, consider taking a time out to assimilate lessons learned. When you are ready to continue, return to Step 1, above.
*Please note: Acceptance of a document, MP3 of video into the OneEarth.University Libraries is at the discretion of the Editor/Librarian and the governing Circle of Scholars. For a variety of reasons we may not be able to accept and publish every contribution.