The power of transformative experiences

12 Jun

When I visit intermittently what Chris Jordan is doing about Midway, when I look back from the first photos, the follow-ups, the TED-talk, see the development to a film project, read some blog entries, read Victoria’s (Chris’s wife) accompanying poetry, read how others have been touched and gotten onboard,  and hear his voice in the trailer, then I think that the story of the fate of the albatrosses on Midway Atoll is a transformative experience. And it is a transformative experience with tremendous power, to touch and change people’s lives, to sustain a change.

What I think I see happening is something very valuable. Its something that has happened to others before and unfolded a similar power. The story of Aldo Leopold is one I would mention here. Leopold’s transformative experience came from watching a mother wolf he had killed – this is before the first world war – die and the subsequent changes he observes in the relationships between deer, wolves and mountains. He went on to become one of the most powerful voices in conservation, making the systems thinking that is ecology eloquently apparent. The experience and his reflections are best captured in his very short essay Thinking like a mountain which you can read here. If you want to know a bit more about Aldo you can read a short summary here or visit the Aldo Leopold Foundation here.


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