We all know that Easter is a time in the calendar of the northern hemisphere when humans have celebrated the arrival of Spring and the commencement of a new growing season. Being English, daffodills and primroses are the signs that Easter is soon coming!
The significance of what has only recently become a religious festival or even more recently a commercial one, pre-dates Christianity by thousands of years. I write this in Sydney where the days are shortening as “winter” approaches but that is no less reason to be hopeful as winter is a great season for reflection and spending time with friends and family knowing Spring is not that far away.
I wanted to take a break from writing to sharing two videos that express why I do what little I can do to midwife the birth of a new era in our common story. Because I have worked for about 40 years in travel & tourism and because this phenomena connects and touches so many people’s lives, I do believe that it has the potential to be an effective agent of change but only if we become conscious of all aspects of its influence – the positive and the destructive. We must resist the tendency towards “wilful blindness” and pretend that tourism – as practiced – is just a force for good no matter how appealing that message might appear.
I have spoken at three conferences since December: PATA’s Responsible Travel’s Forum in Beijing; PATA’s Adventure and Responsible Tourism event in Bhutan and, most recently at the Pacific Asia Indigenous Tourism Conference in Darwin organised by ATEC & PATA where we witnessed the birth of the World Tourism Indigenous Tourism Alliance. Each presentation was unique (my slides are here) but conveyed the message expressed in the previous paragraph. What struck me was the enthusiastic and passionate response that was evoked and affirms that many people in tourism are indeed waking up, growing up, and stepping up and creating Places that uniquely Care! It’s an exciting time to be alive and working in a field that encompasses and integrates the work of eco, geo, sustainable, responsible, fair trade, local, ethical travel and tourism.
The first video presents the thoughts of one of the greatest cosmologists of our time, Thomas Berry. More information on the work of Thomas Berry can be seen here: http://www.earth-community.org/
The second describes the process of change that is taking place right now using the well established metaphor of the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly to cast light on current events. This video is produced by a former geneticist, Dr Bruce Lipton, who is now integrating much of current thinking into an exposition of the crossroads facing humanity. His current book Spontaneous Evolution is my favourite book purchase in a very long time. I first heard the caterpillar story some 7 years ago and it’s even more inspiring when you see it paying out in reality.
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