Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 1 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts    H4'ed 5/2/17

To Theodore on the Day of the People's Climate March

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   1 comment
Author 21341
Follow Me on Twitter     Message Tammie Fowles
Become a Fan


(Image by TeJae Byram)   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

Today while the climate march moves forward I'm thinking about the late Theodore Roszack who died on a summer day in his California home at the age of 77 from liver cancer.


I miss him. I miss his wisdom, his perspective, his call to people everywhere to respond to the "madness involved in urban industrial society that has to do with our lack of balance and integration with the natural environment."

He urged us to join those ecologists and environmentalists who warn that we're on a path of self-destruction. He implored therapists not to remain so focused on our clients' individual issues that we fail to confront the wounds inflicted by a "deeply toxic" culture.

- Advertisement -
In an interview with Jeffrey Mishlove on Thinking Allowed, he encouraged us to find out why ordinary people are engaging in behaviors that are so destructive. To ask, "how did we lose our intimate connection to the natural world?" And "what drives us so fiercely towards material gain at the expense of community, spirituality, health, morality, and so very much more?" And he advised us to listen very carefully to the answers as closely and as genuinely as we listen to our clients sacred and singular stories.

He pointed out that while our mental health system had focused for so long on trauma, pathology, and illness, there have always been those who've maintained, "the deeper you look inside, the more reason you find for joy, for celebration; that the foundations for human nature are clean and good and innocent and creative."

He implored mental health professionals to lead the way in helping people move away from the burdens of shame, guilt and original sin and towards what psychoanalyst Eric Fromme called, 'biophilia' -- the love of humanity and life. He asserted that if we were to fall in love with the beauty that's contained both within the natural world and within ourselves, we'd be far more proactive in caring for our planet, and one another.

- Advertisement -
In an interview on PBS which focused on ideas from his first book, an examination of the revolutionary youth movement of the sixties entitled, "The Making of a Counter Culture," Roszac suggested that if the ethos of the sixties had prevailed today, "it would be a world where people lived gently on the planet without the sense that they have to exploit nature or make war upon nature in order to find basic security. It would be a simpler way of life, less urban, less consumption-oriented, and much more concerned about spiritual values, about companionship, friendship, and community. Community was one of the great words of this period, connecting with others, solving problems, enjoying one another's company, sharing ideas, values, and insights. And if that's not what life is all about, if that's not what the wealth is for, then we are definitely on the wrong path."

In his final book, The Making of an Elder Culture: Reflections on the Future of America's Most Audacious Generation, he called on boomers like myself to reclaim the spirit that was very much alive in the sixties, the one that "questioned rather deeply the cultural standards of the time." He asked us now that we are becoming elders to revive the energy and commitment we had back when we were young to work to birth a kinder, more sustainable and just world.

I miss you, Theodore. I took you for granted. I was too self-absorbed to fully hear your message. And then, as is all too often the case with we humans, you got my full attention only when I found out that you had left us. I'm listening now with both a sad and grateful heart, and I am hoping that just maybe you are able to see this mighty march moving forward now, right now. Just maybe more of us are starting to hear you, finally...

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

Tammie Fowles Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Tammie Fowles is a psychotherapist, celebrant, and author currently practicing in Lewiston, Maine.. She has a Masters degree in Social Work and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and is a certified celebrant. She is the author of "BirthQuake: The (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Rewriting our Stories

Does Wendell Potter Both Mirror the Worst, and Model the Best in Ourselves?

On Dark Nights in America and Women's Wisdom

To Theodore on the Day of the People's Climate March

Break Down or Break Through? Part One

Break Down or Break Through? Part Two