SHEP Earth Aware

SHEPs overall vision is of a socially just world, where all people live in dignity, where we cherish and celebrate each other and ourselves, and where the integrity of the earth is honoured.

SHEP Earth Aware seeks to contribute to implementing that vision, but with a particular focus on earth awareness. A The need for earth awareness has come to the fore especially because of the realization that the web of life is being seriously damaged by human being unsustainable lifestyle, and the related realization that while this will affect us all, it is already causing enormous suffering for many of the poorest people on earth, people who have done least to bring about the problem.

SHEP Earth Aware’s understanding of earth awareness is in line with SHEPs general style of education. It involves helping people gain some knowledge about what is happening and some understanding of how and why it is happening. But it knows that knowledge alone is not effective in helping people to face the reality, or to contribute to finding a constructive way forward. There is also needed a cultivation of a deep emotional response, of a willingness to face and express painful feelings such as fear and grief, and of an opening of the heart based on gratitude and love. SHEP Earth Aware seeks to foster and promote this fuller response of mind and heart.

Our Intention

  • To deepen their experience and appreciation of nature, and of themselves as part of it
  • To deepen their understanding and appreciation of natural systems and of the web of life
  • To explore some of the ways humans have seen their relationship to the rest of the natural world, and the different stories, symbols, values and taken-for-granted assumptions that shape and make sense of that relationship
  • To face the reality of what is currently happening in the world, both to people and to the wider web of life, and the role that modern economic systems, and the cultural assumptions embedded in them, play in what is happening
  • To explore their reaction to what is happening to the earth and its people, and find constructive ways of responding,
  • To explore and support ways in which they, as individuals, as members of the SHEP community, as members of other communities of various kinds, and as citizens on a local, national, and international level, might deepen their cherishing of the earth and its people and contribute to constructive change
  • To build partnerships and collaborations with other groups working to achieve any or all of these aims.