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Psychology for a better world

I find it very easy to slip into disillusionment when it comes to the reckless, irresponsible and naive ways in which our species is interacting with this world. This week I read an article in The Herald suggesting that with record Arctic ice melting many scientists believe that the worst case scenario predictions regarding climate change may in fact turn out to be too conservative. These feelings of powerlessness and being overwhelmed often return at a micro level as well as I go about my personal life, perhaps having dutifully cleaned my cans and bottles for recycling, biking to the farmers market, and taking containers to the butcher to avoid plastic and styrofoam packaging, and then observing the amount of single use, plastic material thrown out at the medical facility I work at.

That is why it was almost a relief to read Auckland Uni associate professor¬†Niki Harre’s book ‘Psychology for a Better World’. Whilst working my way through the chapters on encouraging creativity and commitment, the role of who we are and where we belong, and making the most of our desire to be good, I found that my sub-conscious narrative of ‘changing the world’, was being challenged and re-framed, to one of working with the ‘winds of change’. Rather than feeling a responsibility of creating behaviour change, I have become more focused on simply being a sustainability advocate, doing what I do, and encouraging others along the journey.

For those of us for whom reading is a bit of a chore, Niki has now released a 15min film covering the main ideas of book. It is full of cool animations and completely held our attention for the whole time, and we were particularly taken by the couple at 11:09 :)

 

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