Editor’s Note: This week, I am taking my own advice and engaging in a “Think Week.” In my case, I am choosing to spend six days in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) in northern Minnesota. If you notice a nature-related theme to this week’s edition it is because that is the theme I am choosing to spend my deep-thinking time reflecting upon.
Think: The BWCA was recently designated a Dark Sky Sanctuary–meaning it is one of the few areas in the United States free of light pollution. If a person wishes to open one’s mind to the vast potential of the future, one of the best ways to do this is embrace the transformative power of awe–and one of the easiest ways to experience awe is to bask under an expansive and seemingly limitless night-time sky.
Think Smarter: If you want to think better, clearer, and smarter there are few places better to do so than in nature. If you are not familiar with the concept of “forest bathing,” I encourage you to become so because it can improve your thinking–and your life.
Think Different: Why is it that a modern corporation such as Minnesota-based 3M is entitled to legal rights but the Mississippi River–whose headwaters are in Minnesota–is not? In the future, I believe that rivers, lakes, forests, and mountain ranges will, in fact, be entitled to legal representation. If this seems like a far-out idea, consider that New Zealand has recently granted the Whanganui River legal rights.
Think Holistically: It has been said that unlimited growth is the ideology of a cancer cell. This is because anything that grows unchecked ultimately becomes a threat to its host. If this is true in the human body, why wouldn’t it also be true with regard to the modern economy? A new term in economics is becoming increasingly popular and it seeks to turn economics away from the idea of unlimited growth and towards the notion of “thriveability.” It is a trend worthy of some of your “think time.”
Heart-Centered Thinking: While I will be doing a great deal of canoeing, portaging, and hiking, I also hope to be reading a fair amount. If you are wondering what books I’ll be spending with, here they are: Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist, Peter Reason’s In Search of Grace: An Ecological Pilgrimage, Belden Lane’s Backpacking With the Saints: Wilderness Hiking as a Spiritual Practice, and Catherine Glynn’s latest manuscript, Leadership Distilled.
Until next week: Don’t stop thinking about the future! But also never forget “It is easier to act your way into a new way of thinking than think your way into a new way of acting”!