THE SIX MAXIMS

  1. Work hard to grasp the immensity.
  2. Cultivate radical hope.
  3. Have a line in the sand.
  4. Appreciate the unique and astonishing opportunity
  5. Train the body, heart and mind.
  6. Act for the future generations of all species.
  1. Work hard to grasp the immensity. “Realize how fiendishly difficult it is to grasp the scope of climate devastation oneself. Realize how hard it is for others.”
  2. Cultivate radical hope. “The kind of hope that reappears after optimism has died is hope that can be relied on. It is generally a hope that doesn’t talk about or think of itself as hope. This means realizing the dangers of optimistic hope, of fantasyland and magical thinking. First, we must own our grief and anger.”
  3. Have a line in the sand. “Know that there are some things you will not do, some modes of living you will not embrace. Know that there are lives worse than death. Be prepared to die.”
  4. Appreciate the unique and astonishing opportunity. “Appreciate the opportunity you have to accompany humanity in this extraordinary transition and to be present to the earth and the biosphere at this time. Be amazed at the interconnectedness of things and their astonishing complexity. Think small, alongside thinking very big.”
  5. Train the body, heart and mind. “Learn breathing exercises. Develop the physiological capacity to deal with despair. Despair isn’t just psychological, it’s physiological. Learn skills for getting beyond ego—not just the cognitive limits of ego but the emotional and physiological limits of ego.”
  6. Act for the future generations of all species. “Speak for those without voice: the poor, the future generations, other species. Speak for the forests, the seas, the mountains. Act, personally and politically, to limit the damage being done to the biosphere.”