Reading one book can encourage you to see things in a different perspective, and Thomas Berry’s The Great Work provides a brighter side to humanity’s future. When it comes to predicting the outlook of the environment, it seems as though there are more predictions for gloom and doom than anything else. However, Berry reminds us that we have the power to change the future.
The seemingly unending path of consumption that society is on is sure to lead us into trouble, especially when it comes to our natural resources. However, Berry makes a point that this path doesn’t have to continue. Individuals as well as businesses change their looks, thoughts and actions continuously, so we just need the nudge to reinvent ourselves as a society. Reinventing certain aspects of our current lives to secure the best interest of the earth will be a difficult task, but Berry predicts that this reinventing will take place in a “time-developmental context.”
As word spreads and ecological obstacles awaken us to the more threatening problems ahead, Berry has hope that people will unite and bond together to solve or at least minimize the situation. The few who make these realizations will extend these realizations to others, because like Berry states, “the entire universe is bonded together in such a way that the presence of each individual is felt throughout its entire spatial and temporal range.”
Regardless of how many distractions we face on a daily basis, it’s imperative that we look outside of ourselves and realize our greater responsibilities we have to preserve and protect our natural resources. Berry says, “Alienation is overcome as soon as we experience this surge of energy from the source that has brought the universe through the centuries.” Overcoming alienation will enable us to overcome anything as long as we (all sentient beings) stand united.
As we begin to experience some of the consequences of society’s wastefulness and frivolousness, Berry has an optimistic point of view, which is that we will realize the importance of coming together as one united force. When or if this will happen is uncertain, but it at least gives those eco-friendly individuals who are trying to make a difference some hope.