Transformational   topic / challenge / strength / conversation   Number 5
in the
Spiral Journey Resilience Map

Earth in our hands

Conversation Theme:

For our actions: How can I/we learn to acknowledge, and make amends for, any and all mistakes I/we have made, and for any and all harm and pain I/we may have caused? Acknowledging the mistakes we have made frees us to learn from them, and frees us from the traps of needing to defend, deny, and/or endlessly repeat them. For the Web of Life: As we come to understand how the Web of Life sustains our lives at every moment, and how large an impact humans have on the Web of Life, we can experience an awakening of gratitude and caring that focuses on taking responsibility for protecting and nurturing (rather than destroying) the living world.

In the Prayer of St. Francis, there is a verse saying, “Where there is injury, may I bring forgiveness.” This casts us in the role of a helpful person who was outside the original event of injury.  In our time of chronic wars-of-choice, government-sponsored torture, and consumer-driven ecological destruction, many of us are no longer innocent outsiders.  Thus we might consider rewriting this verse of the Prayer of St. Francis to read, “Where we have caused (or colluded in) injury, may we bring forgiveness and lessen resentment in the world by honestly admitting the mistakes that we have made, by listening patiently and respectfully to the grievances of those whom we have injured, by asking for forgiveness, and by seeking to make amends for the damage we have caused.”

Books/Articles Introducing Theme:

U.S. soldiers apologize for “collateral murder” in Iraq

Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything – by John B. Izzo, PhD

Catholic Social Teaching and Environmental Ethics

Relation to Earlier Conversations in the Spiral Journey:

Conversation 2:  Empathy for people and living creatures motivates us to take more resposibility for the impact our actions have on them.

Conversation 3: The courage to face the truth plays a large role in how much responsibility we will be able to accept.

Links to resources for conversations about accepting responsibility more consciously and transformatively:

A: Quotes, Poems, Songs, Images

B: Personal Stories

C: Articles, Talks, Videos

D: Book and Movie Reviews

E: Lesson Plans and Course Materials

F: Individual & Group Exercises/Explorations

G: Study Groups, Courses and Conferences

Image credit: brozova / 123RF Stock Photo Image credit: brozova / 123RF Stock Photo