I house sat for a few weeks on Lopez Island over my break from work. The homeowners were hip to the beautiful simplicities of life. A wood stove, a good book shelf and a very sweet dog named Chica kept me company over the holidays. One book in particular I picked up and could hardly put down. I wanted to share a humble recommendation, for anyone out there interested in an inspirational read. Active Hope, by Joanny Macy and Chris Johnstone, is perhaps the only book about our realistic state in human development that did not leave me feeling completely defeated. Beautiful books like Silent Spring, or End of Nature have had their place. Environmentally charged shock appeal is effective but I finish books like these pissed off at everybody, and I don’t think I am alone in that. The world does not need more angry people, it needs creatively inspired and passionate folks. If we channel our energy into the right places, the shifts that can happen in our communities are immense and profound. You can call it a trickle up, as good deeds and conservative efforts pay themselves forward and build strength. We may even inspire the government to care more about people than big business and power. Though that’s not on our radar, yet. The jig has long been up of mankind’s destructive practices exploiting natural resources, but we have not made enough changes. Macy and Johnstone don’t intend to lay out breaking news, these stories of our time are in our awareness if we listen. Instead they let you sit briefly with the pain of the world, and recognize that your are not alone. None of us are, and every morsel of our positive effort is worthwhile and recognizable. If you have every been saddened by thoughts of climate change, have been inspired at one point or another to help the planet, or maybe haven’t. This book can be enlightening to all of us along the spectrum.