"Many people feel overwhelmed by the global scale of our environmental problems. They feel concern but do not know how they can individually contribute to saving the earth. On the other hand, there is nothing daunting about taking care of a garden... I believe that if we change our attitudes toward the natural environment as a whole, regarding it and taking care of it as the world garden, it will be a source of joy for generations to come."
- HH The Dalai Lama
(from the Foreword to The Spirit's Terrain: Creativity, Activism, and Transformation by Christopher Childs - originally titled, Working Toward the World Garden)
"Those people whose activism lasts throughout their lifetimes, and who are most revered by those who come after them, have been and are those who know themselves to be artists. This knowledge may be conscious or it may be intuitive, but the visionary quality of their lives is clear evidence that they identify themselves as more than caretakers. They are creators. And they take joy in it.
"If we are to shape a successful future for ourselves, for civilization, and for the earth, we will certainly not do it by waiting for crises to materialize and dealing with them after the fact. We will not even be able to do it by anticipating crises and finding clever ways to forestall them. No amount of cleverness in coping with our own mistakes, or preventing mistakes that are about to be made, will alone suffice to guarantee the future. Nor will any amount of heroic battling against the evil Goliaths that seem to surround us. We will have to take up a much greater challenge. We will have to set aside conflict in favor of creation.
"We will have to create something entirely new here, based on a commitment to a vision that is embedded deeply in the consciousness of every human being, one so powerful that it frightens us to acknowledge its existence. It is a vision that Western society (like some others) has chosen to place safely in the distant and mythical history of Earth - rather than in the future where it belongs and where we would all have to work to make it real. It is the vision of Eden."
(from Chapter One of The Spirit's Terrain)