Innovations in agriculture don’t just come from veteran environmentalists or food industry heavyweights. In fact, many incredibly inspiring projects are
I’m so delighted to see so many young people choosing the difficult part of changing the order of things.
I know how hard it is.
Machiavelly warned his Prince, with these magnificent words:
"It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new. This coolness arises partly from fear of the opponents, who have the laws on their side, and partly from the incredulity of men, who do not readily believe in new things until they have had a long experience of them."
Around the same time, William the Silent, prince of Orange, quipped:
"One need not hope in order to undertake, nor succeed in order to persevere."
Beautiful quotes, but were they helpful? I found a lot of help in the quote of Vaclav Havel, cited as concluding paragraph in the seminal book; "The systems View of Life", written in 2014 by Fritjof Capra and Pier Luigi Luisi:
The kind of hope that I often think about… I understand above all as a state of mind, not a state of the World. Either we have hope within us or we don’t; it is a dimension of the soul, and it’s not essentially dependent on some particular observation of the World or estimate of the situation… Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.
I still don’t know what brought me to bounce totally fortuitously upon Francesco Varela’s "Ethical Know-How – Action, Wisdom and Cognition" – the transcript and translation of three lectures he gave in 1992 in Bologna, published by Stanford University Press, Why I started reading it, what pushed me to persevere in reading these 70 pages, trying to understand them, to eventually, after 3 reads discover a blink of the treasure it contains. I will surely read it again, a fourth time…
The conclusion of the book reads as follows:
"My presentation is, more than anything, a plea for a re-enchantement of wisdom, understood as non-intentional action. This skillful approach to living is based on a pragmatics of transformation that demands nothing less than a moment-to-moment awareness of the virtual nature of our selves. In its full unfolding it opens up openness as authentic caring. These are radical ideas and strong measures for the troubled times we have at hand, and the even more troubled ones we are likely to have.."
This reading brought me at yet another level of thinking and reflection, and I do hope I can bring more youth to a stage where the whole is cared for, not the parts, and not the individual self… who is virtual.