Resilience and Perseverance in Turbulent Times

As we slowly roll into spring, we are looking forward to getting out more often and the possibility of seeing our communities in person – though still at a distance. One of our great “aha’s” is how different people look and relate on virtual platforms compared to real life. The looks of understanding that feel more real in person, sincere listening that is more palpable when an actual face is present across the table, and the sharing of laughter and tears are all so cherished now more than ever.

While all of us here at Climate Generation are looking forward to more in-person community events and experiences, we are also keenly aware of what’s to come in a warm season that has already begun with devastating effects for people:

  • A series of tropical storms and heavy rain events over six weeks between January and March wreaked havoc in southeast Africa, leaving 230 people dead and displacing hundreds of thousands across the region.
  • In the Philippines, Tropical Storm Megi hit land twice and led to the sinking of two ships and major mudslides that destroyed villages burying 210 houses. In the wake of Megi, 137 people perished to date and as the magnitude of displacement continues to be assessed.

In the US, we anticipate more wildfires in California, Montana, and other areas of the West and Southwest. Here in Minnesota and our Canadian neighbors to the North, we know that conditions leading to drought may produce more wildfires, lost lives, climate migrants and air pollution. Yet, with a mixture of joyful anticipation about seeing colleagues, friends, and family face-to-face and fear of a likely traumatic weather season, we embrace our inner optimist, delving deep inside to connect our actions to a broader set of solutions to the climate crisis.

Through our 15 years of work in partnership with communities, educators, and youth, we have learned that while we talk about, lead, teach, and act on climate change, we can’t forget that building collective empathy through a radical culture of kindness is an underlying tenet of the solution—it is the difference between seeing climate change and acting towards climate justice.

When we are most empathetic, humans shine! Think of the lives saved through people reaching out to victims of war, COVID patients, and people experiencing homelessness and hunger—this would not happen if we did not have empathy and a desire to be a kind beacon of hope.

As you find your space in celebrating spring and summer, think about ways that you can embrace a radical culture of kindness. This culture is reflected in small and great actions, and the more we do, the more we will connect a healthy planet and equitable solutions to climate change, and to greater empathy and ultimate kindness.

Onward!

Denise

Denise Fosse
Senior Director of Development, Marketing and Communications

Kristen

Kristen Poppleton
Senior Director of Programs

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