Thursday, December 31, 2015

Signs of hope

It's New Year's Eve. I don't much care if you have a sane celebration, but I hope you have a safe and fun-filled one. Here at My Minnesota, we're looking forward to next year for lots of reasons, among them, and near the top of the list, is that 2016 is when the world officially starts to measure "progress" against 17 goals intended to transform the world. If you're paying attention to the state of the world, you know transformation to something more sustainable is much to be desired.


Midnight, December 31, 2015, marks the start of a 15 year cycle during which progress toward meeting the goals will be measured against indicators for those goals. [We certainly wish our Minnesota would go back to doing something like that.] Maybe the step we missed earlier in Minnesota was including teachers and children. The UN has provided resources for that for the Sustainable Development Goals. If these goals and their indicators help us teach children to respect nature and each other, it would be enough to make even an aging curmudgeon like yr. obt svt feel extremely hopeful. Don't be surprised if, over the next year (or 15) My Minnesota takes a few looks at how world-wide sustainable development goals fit (or don't) with Gary Snyder's wonderful guidance to “Find your place on the planet. Dig in, and take responsibility from there.” That quote provides a nice bridge to the Snyder poem that, although we've shared it before, we want to use to close out this year and take us into next. There's plenty of reason for hope if we succeed in staying together and going light.

Spring: full of light and hope and trillium
Spring: full of light and hope and trillium flowers
Photo by J. Harrington

For the Children

The rising hills, the slopes,
of statistics
lie before us,
the steep climb
of everything, going up,
up, as we all
go down.

In the next century
or the one beyond that,
they say,
are valleys, pastures,
we can meet there in peace
if we make it.

To climb these coming crests
one word to you, to
you and your children:

stay together
learn the flowers
go light


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