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  • Writer's pictureClaudia Murillo

The monkeys, the half-full glass and one strategy for a circular economy.

In the vast region of the Amazon, animal shelters daily receive monkeys with physical and psychological traumas caused by the irresponsible human intervention in their ecosystems, traumas from which only a few of them get to recover. In the meanwhile, many miles from those shelters, the experiments of the Californian researcher Alison Ledgerwood have revealed that our brain has a natural tendency to remain literally stuck in negative visions of reality. This means that once we have experienced a situation in a negative way, even despite of the appearance of new facts supporting a positive vision, it is still challenging for us to see the “glass half-full”. Even worse, the slightest negative judgment brought to our thinking by others has an unfortunate and powerful effect on our own perceptions of value. Thus, in light of the Ledgerwood's experiments and the rehab expectation of the Amazon monkeys, we have to accept the fragility of our mental balance and recognize that overcoming trauma and negative thought patterns is a hard work and requires a strong and steady commitment, even knowing that the probability of success is inversely proportional to the strength of our human conditioning.

However, despite any trend or the low probabilities of trauma recovery, the Brazilian rebel rehabilitators insist on dedicating their lives to providing palliative care, physical hydrotherapy and natural medicines to alleviate the trauma and anxiety of the little monkeys. And on her side, Ledgerwood proposes to rebel against brain patterns, generating the daily habit of making pauses to observe the positives of our reality to multiply our healthy thoughts and pacify our own "mental monkey". Thus, committing ourselves to finding ways and personal medicines to overcome our glass half empty visions may be a path for a better quality of life and a good strategy to end those collective chains of unconscious mistreatment and subtle judgment that don’t help our societies at all. A certainly arduous task, apparently contrary to our character, but which in the end can help us to live better. Likewise, in a sphere of reality, not far from Amazonian rehabilitators and monkeys, a few visionary farmers have decided to observe and study relations of cooperation and effectiveness designed by nature in each of their ecosystems. And with a mission much more ambitious than changing chains of negative thought, these rural innovators have developed production strategies echoing "planetary savvy" to balance the relationship with those ecosystems that daily support the food security of our species. Thus, incorporating symbiotic relationships, returning minerals to the soil and managing resources as a planet that does not have the word waste in its dictionary, these farmers are innovating in their cultivation process to protect and regenerate the ecosystems where they carry out their activity.

We all know that climate emergency will bring enormous challenges for humanity. Regenerative farmers are aware that there is much more that needs to be done to maximize their visionary efforts, as long as rescuers are aware that rescuing monkeys is not the only action required to protecting our fauna. The development of large-scale regenerative farming practices would be much more challenging than the exercise of giving ourselves a minute for mental balance for multiplying “half-full glasses” in our brains. However, it represents one of the more tangible strategists we have towards a circular economy and the possibility to develop a sustainable life system on earth. Regenerative agriculture represents a search that is worth commitment from governors to costumers as much as Alison Ledgerwood proposes to do with the patterns of our thinking. So, in times when massive wildland fires and pandemics have taken us out from our status quo, could be a perfect moment to study how nature makes the best of every drop of water it has in its glass, and let flow positive visions and ideas that could help us get past this moment. Perhaps, this is one of the last opportunities we have to understand us as a single organism, assuming our responsibilities and tune in our potentials towards a more balanced social-economic design able to care of all the inhabitants in our house.

In the end, a few visionary monkeys can't make a difference alone; we really need ACTION from all of us.

By: Claudia Murillo.

Here you can find some organizations you could support in the Amazonia, a permaculture video to understand learn about soil regeneration and an app with totally free meditations to fill your glass every day.

Shelters and organizations

Geoff Lawton: Permaculture Online

Insight Timer

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