What will I do with this life of mine?

What will I do with this life of mine?

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 Today is the Winter solstice and we have a rare full moon awaiting us on Christmas day. 2016 lies beyond so it's not a bad time to reflect on the year past. More importantly, it's time to ponder the decades ahead. Our (in)action today will frame the nature of the world we and our fellow species inhabit in the future.  2015 has been a funny year. On the one hand, it seems to have been very long and not a little bit tortuous. On the other, it has raced by, no time to scratch. For TFT and me at least, I wouldn't say there has been any single standout achievement. That said, the publication of Beyond Certification was special. There have been many challenges faced and grappled with, some new initiatives launched and a sense of increased impact but no end of work to keep us busy going forward.

Around us, there has been the flurry of Paris but also much inaction and drift on climate change. The Pope's magnificent encyclical lit up the middle of the year and gave hope that at least one world leader gets it. Meanwhile, temperatures continue to soar above long-term averages and biodiversity the world over is struggling. Pictures of people giving water from plastic bottles to Koalas and other wildlife suffering terrible heat shows human good nature but also the paradox of our reliance on fossil fuels and the terrible effects wrought on others by our seizure of so much of the world's resources for ourselves. I feel sadness at this and wish for times past when we could bank solidly on the weather being always as it should be. As Australian folk singer Eric Bogle said, "If wishes were fishes, we'd all cast nets in the sea". Change indeed.

Australian artist Michael Leunig never fails to disappoint at these moments and has published his Christmas poem that I've included in the picture above. You can see more of Michael's work here.

It's a powerful reflection and for me at least has me thinking what more must I personally do in 2016 to do my bit, to play my part in the effort to bring change. There are echoes of Mary Oliver's 'The Summer Day' in Michael's Christmas poem and as we ponder our own resolutions and actions for 2016, we might think of Oliver's closing words:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

The Limits of Shame: Time to shower with your enemy?

The Limits of Shame: Time to shower with your enemy?

In the Circle of Trust with Barbara Reid

In the Circle of Trust with Barbara Reid