On Our Must-Read List: Frances Moore Lappe's EcoMind

“Solutions to global crises are within reach. Our challenge is to free ourselves from self-defeating thought traps so we can bring these solutions to life.”
~ Frances Moore Lappé


We haven't read it yet, so we can't recommend it, but EcoMind: Changing the Way we Think, to Create the World We Want, by Frances Moore Lappé, is definitely on our must-read list.

Lappé's newest book unpacks seven thought traps that "leave us mired in fear, guilt, and despair" and offers stories and analysis of how we can shift our minds and our efforts to become true changemakers for a better world.  Here are the thought traps she defines & explores:

1. No growth is the answer.
2. "Consumer society" is the problem.
3. We've hit the limits of a finite earth.
4. We must overcome human nature to save the planet.
5. To save our planet, we have to override humanity's natural resistance to rules.
6. Humans have lost the connection to nature.
7. It's too late!

The book then offers ideas for action.

Here's a short excerpt, courtesy of our friends at the Center for Ecoliteracy:
"Hope is not wishful thinking. It's not a temperament we're born with. It is a stance toward life that we can choose . . . or not. The real question for me, though, is whether my hope is effective, whether it produces results or is just where I hide to ease my own pain.

What I strive for I call honest hope. And it takes work, but it is good work. It is work I love. I began this book suggesting that it starts with getting our thinking straight. Since we create the world according to ideas we hold, we have to ask ourselves whether the ideas we inherit and absorb through our cultures serve us. We can only have honest, effective hope if the frame through which we see is an accurate representation of how the world works."
You can hear Lappé talk about her book in this video of her appearance at Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon last month.

The psychology of social change has become more prominent and relevant in recent years, so it's exciting to see such a big-name environmental activist discuss the importance and influence of our ways of thinking and how that affects our behavior. I've put the book on hold at my local library, and I can't wait to see if Lappé lives up to the quality and impact of her other books.

Let us know what you think of EcoMind.

~ Marsha

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