“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” 

Margaret Mead

In this episode I had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Wendy Pentland, a personal coach, and a recently retired professor of occupational therapy at Queens University.

I’d been thinking for some time that it would be worthwhile doing a podcast that explores the anxieties and fears that so many listeners are telling me they are experiencing around the emerging realities of Climate Change, and how they might better cope with them or channel them in a positive direction.

Wendy has worked as a professional coach for more than 15 years, coaching over 500 people in all walks and spheres of life –  professionals, academics, executives, in the private sector, public sector, large organizations, small businesses, private practices, academia, healthcare and medicine. With all that experience, I thought Wendy would be the perfect person to help us explore our climate-change worries.

Wendy’s coaching approach is grounded in the belief that people are motivated primarily by two desires: to fulfill their own potential and to make a meaningful contribution to the world; to make a difference. People frequently have difficulty fulfilling these desires because they govern themselves with beliefs and fictions that hold them back and blind them to what may be greater possibilities.

I thought I would interview Wendy, but in the end, she interviewed me. It turned out to be the best approach. Instead of listening to Wendy and me talk in very general terms about how we might all deal with our common climate-change worries, you get to hear a world-class coach help me with my own personal climate-change worries.  I am standing in for you, the listener, because for coaching to work, it has to be very personal and specific.  I am pretty sure that everyone listening will find something they can apply to themselves from this interview on my fears and sadness about the state we are in.  As with all the interviews in the series, we end up agreeing on the validity and efficacy of hope, even in the face of the wicked challenges now on our doorstep.

Quotations Cited in this Podcast:

Rebecca Solnit, from Hope in the Dark, 2016: 

“Cause-and-effect assumes history marches forward, but history is not an army… Sometimes one person inspires a movement, or her words do decades later; sometimes a few passionate people change the world; sometimes they start a mass movement and millions do; sometimes those millions are stirred by the same outrage or the same ideal, and change comes upon us like a change of weather. All that these transformations have in common is that they begin in the imagination, in hope.”

Vaclav Havel quoted in 2052: A Global Forecast for the Next Forty Years, by Jorgen Randers:

“No, I am not an optimist in the sense that I believe that everything will go well. But neither am I a pessimist in the sense that I believe everything will go wrong. I am hopeful. For without hope there will be no progress. Hope is as important as life itself.”

Victor E; Frankl, from Man’s Search for Meaning

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

Books Referred to in this Podcast:

Frankl, Victor E.:  Man’s Search for Meaning. Beacon Press, 2006 (firsrt published in 1946)

Solnit, Rebecca:  Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities. Haymarket Books, 2016.

Havel, Vaclav:  The Art of The Impossible: Politics as Morality in Practice. Alfred A. Knopf, 1997

You Can Learn More About Wendy at:

 

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