Forget about everything you associate with a “movement” or an “-ism” you might know: well defined ideology, central aggregation of power, and (usually) male dominated leadership.
The movement I’m talking about is what author, environmentalist, entrepreneur and the best spokesperson Mother Nature ever hired Paul Hawken brilliantly describes as “humanity’s immune response” to our current ecological and social crises.
The scientist in me loves this analogy. The changemaker in me heaves a sigh of relief (just as Hawken predicts) – the sense of finally dropping the orphaned feeling of having to be out in the trenches with a tiny army; marching with the grand burden of saving the world on my shoulders.
I’m sure you have a basic idea of the human body’s immune system. The good guy antibodies recognizing, attacking and killing the bad guy antigens (viruses, bacteria etc) to keep you healthy.
Hawken replaces this simplistic caricature and reminds us of the jaw dropping reality.
“In each of you are one quadrillion cells, 90 percent of which are not human cells. Your body is a community, and without those other microorganisms you would perish in hours. Each human cell has 400 billion molecules conducting millions of processes between trillions of atoms. The total cellular activity in one human body is staggering: one septillion actions at any one moment, a one with twenty-four zeros after it. In a millisecond, our body has undergone ten times more processes than there are stars in the universe…..
….So I have two questions for you all: First, can you feel your body? Stop for a moment. Feel your body. One septillion activities going on simultaneously, and your body does this so well you are free to ignore it……You can feel it. It is called life. This is who you are.
Second question: who is in charge of your body? Who is managing those molecules?