The Amazon Fires vs. Burning Churches

You may have noticed a few viral images going around comparing how humans raised 835M to rebuild Notre-dame in a short period of time, but nobody seems to care that the Amazon is burning. I was hurt to consider how and why we might respond so differently to these two situations and want to look at a few layers behind this statement which are deeply reflective of the human experience.

1. Culturally we hold significance to the things we personally spend a long time building relationships with, things that involve us using our hands, places we’re we celebrate our love, where we morn our loss of loved ones, use our money to build and places that provide community and spiritual nourishment. If this was a specific community farm that we personally helped grow, nurture and eat from every Sunday our response to this burning would be just as profound. I understand we may receive some of our food from this area, but it’s still an abstraction. It’s not directly connected to the fabric of our lives in a way we can comprehend like we can a local community garden or church burning.

2. The identity and responsibility of a specific, well known church is easier to raise money for than multiple different organisations who each care for the large scale protection area of the Amazon. People feel less likely to raise money for multiple broad blanket funds they don’t have an existing relationship with vs. specific let’s rebuild the church from the religion that “I already trust” funds.

3. Religious status and involvement is deeply interwoven into the fabric of our society, news and identity. The rainforest is far more removed from the personal and direct involvement of the church. The forest does not have a central human voice representing it and a community of devotees who all identify as part of the same organisation like the church does. This makes “listening to the wishes of the forest” more fuzzy, even though it’s cry for help is obvious.

4. I’m pretty sure in the past we held the majesty of nature as our churches, but those days are far behind many of us. The abstraction and disconnection from our earth is mighty and enables us to not feel the need to connect to such atrocities. The majority of us are no longer farmers, we are no longer custodians of large areas not our own. All of this makes it easier to let something like this slip past us like it’s not our responsibility to care. Our personal identity as humans often doesn’t encompass the earth as a whole. It generally encompasses our cultural identity as a country, a region, a city, a family, a religion.

5. We are basic biological primates living in futuristic societies, we are intellectually unable to fully comprehend the situation we’ve got ourselves into, we tend to respond most quickly to things that we can either directly empathise with or affect our lives personally. The idea of our place of worship being destroyed is something we can all identify with, the challenge here is that our place of worship is no longer a forest region in someone else’s country, our places of worship are now often established doctrines within our own towns, perpetuated from within concrete buildings.

If you feel like supporting the rainforest there are a number of ways you can get involved. There is currently a partition with over 4 million signatures asking Brazilian politicians to put a complete ban on illegal burning of the forrest. –> https://www.change.org/p/stop-the-burning-of-the-amazon-rainforest

You can also make a certified, and not for profit checked donation here https://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-help-amazon-rainforest-what-charities-to-donate-to-2019?r=AU&IR=T#2-reduce-reuse-recycle-2

Imagine If Every Train Had a Social Carriage Like This!

You step inside and welcome staff greet you pleasantly with a smile at the door. You are given gentle acknowledgement for your unique presence on this train. You find a seat with a comfortable pillow on it and notice fresh and thought provoking conversation cards hanging from the railings above. Another passenger who is sitting next to you kindly turns and decides to ask you one of the questions; “For what in your life are you most grateful?”. Before you’ve even had time to think about awkwardly moving towards your mobile phone, you’ve been engaged with an authentically interesting question.

You look around the rest of the carriage and notice, Continue reading

New Global Eye Contact Event Is Taking Off!

The 2nd annual Eye Contact Experiment is exploding with people from all over the world rushing in to host and participate in what’s shaping up to be the biggest year yet! Last year over 100,000 people from more than 151 different cities participated in sharing eye contact with strangers in public spaces to re-build a sense of human connection right around the globe. “This year we’ve already had over Continue reading

BOB MARLEY’S LEGACY LIVES ON THROUGH GLOBAL SINGALONG

Bob Marley told us “every little thing gonna be alright” almost 40 years ago, and now we’re going to experience it again – global sing-a-long style. Marley’s hit song ‘Three Little Birds’ will take centre stage to create a sense of unity on public transport all around the globe on May 23 during the World’s Biggest Sing-a-Long. The Liberators International made headlines last year when they launched the world’s biggest eye contact experiment, with more than 100,000 participants from 161 cities taking part in the global event. Continue reading

Media Release: The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment 2015

So What Is Actually Happening?

Over 90,000 people from more than 115 cities have nominated themselves to simultaneously sit in an iconic plaza or square to share a minute’s eye contact with strangers on the 15th of October, 2015.  Each city records their experience on video and then submits their footage to The Liberators International HQ, in Perth Australia to edit their actions into a global compilation video. This global event calls upon citizens of planet Earth to volunteer and decide to be a part of the reason the world changed.

Here’s the example Continue reading

The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment Has Gone Viral!

We’ve just come home from an epic adventure through Europe and now, our latest event “The World’s Biggest Eye Contact Experiment”  has exploded across the planet. More than 20,000 people from over 50 cities have united for our next event on the 15th of October. If there was ever a time to stand up to participate in creating an inspiring global video message for the world now would be that time!

I warmly invite you to represent your country at a local Liberator event in your city or host your own event by reading this info pack here.

Here’s the list of participating cities so far… Continue reading

Dance Party in Indian Restaurant Video!

Last Tuesday we discovered this amazing pay-by-donation Indian restaurant was under threat of closure after recent city construction work had reduced it’s customer base by 50%.  I’d been to this place with friends a few times before and was deeply touched by it’s trust building community centric nature. I thought it would be great to gather some of the Liberators to have a dinner there to help support them on Thursday night. It was only 2 days to promote but within minutes we already had more than 30 people attending.

This gave me the idea to give back to the givers in the way of dance party from within the restaurant. I gave Arun the owner a call and told him of the idea to help his restaurants message travel. He was taken back by the offer at first but he trusted me and said yes. He also offered to give me access to the microphone and inbuilt sound system.

The video shows what happened…