Read these short blog posts to explore the Conventional and Natural Paradigms, and what it might mean to you to Re-Align with Nature.
When we care deeply about something, such as Nature, we feel a heightened sense of meaning, of purpose, of passion. We might feel clarity about what needs to be done, perhaps with a sense of urgency. These feelings can lead us to take meaningful action — or lead us to becoming myopic and misinformed.
Our current dominant cultural paradigm — what I’m calling the Conventional Paradigm — is based on seeing the world with a mindset of scarcity, individuality, competition, greed, resistance, and fear. We can blame this mindset for the existential problems we’re facing. Unfortunately, many social and environmental activists — knowingly or not — adhere to this same paradigm — which leads to beliefs and actions that are myopic and misinformed rather than meaningful.
We cannot address the existential crises we are facing by following the Conventional Paradigm. We might make positive changes here and there, but the bigger problems keep getting worse. Let’s look at forests as an example.
We all love trees and forests. For many of us, the forest is our happy spot. And no one likes to see a forest that has been recently harvested. Accordingly, environmental activists often fight to stop the cutting of trees. They point to loss of wildlife habitat, soil erosion, or need for carbon sequestration. Those issues are meaningful, but viewed through the Conventional Paradigm, the resulting actions are myopic, misinformed, and ultimately harmful.
For example, greed and fear lead us to protect trees in our own backyard (literally or figuratively); however, as long as the population continues to grow, so will the market for lumber, and trees will be harvested somewhere. If not in our own well-regulated, well-managed, and highly productive backyards, trees will be cut in places that lack protections and regulations and in areas where a greater number of species are at risk (like the Amazonian rainforest) resulting in backyard protection, but global harm.
We point fingers at timber harvest, but most of us live in wood-framed homes filled with wood-based furniture. Forests and trees and wood are natural, can be replanted, and can be managed for multiple objectives including habitat. Harvesting trees for wood products is a net carbon sink. By contrast, the production of steel and concrete account for 15% of CO2 emissions, and mining permanently destroys ecosystems.
What is meaningful and what is myopic and misinformed in the case of forestry?
If you’re curious, I encourage you to listen to “It all starts in the soil” from the Forestry Smart Policy podcast series [ https://tinyurl.com/ydpw34tt ]. After listening, think about how we might approach forestry and our own lives and impacts from Nature’s Paradigm.
If you’d like to explore your own Natural Paradigm, please request a free Tiny Transformation workbook [ https://www.wildhazel.net/resources.html ].