Tears of Delight PM of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern’s Well-Being Budget & Maori Guardianship | Friendship Bench

I am in tears of delight as I listen to the statements of the Prime Minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party, Jacinda Ardern, speaking of well-being as the measuring stick at the Davos, Switzerland World Economic Forum. She speaks honestly and earnestly – brilliantly revealing to the other diplomats a lens through which to look that is not measuring the quantity of profits through the GDP, but the quality of life and well-being of the people.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand, politics of kindness, empathy, well-being

New Zealand politics of kindness, empathy and well-being

Among the leaders of the prohibitively expensive and exclusive Davos World Economic Forum, here is yet another example of a leader stepping outside of the dictates of the norm, to instead be a spokesperson for the quality of life. She states that numbers mean nothing, if people are homeless, if the teen suicide rate is high, if people are emotionally and physically ill. It’s another great step for humanity to have an excellent female leader with the bravery to speak the truth. She’s naturally a tremendous advocate for making changes to avert climate catastrophe.

We all know what disasters continue to strike due to industrial practices that are bent on wielding the highest profits, at the cost of health and life of human and species loss and environmental degradation.

Instead of complete lies, such as what comes from the USA present reality-show-muppet-leader, everything that she says speaks truth, conviction and dignity, from the content of her words to her tone and mannerisms. She speaks honestly, as do a number of recently elected female congresswomen in the US. Hurray for the people who are electing these women leaders throughout the world. It is great news.

Not unprecedented in her ideas, the government of Bhutan conceived of the model of Gross National Happiness as a more real measuring stick than the GDP. You can have a high GDP with great numbers, sales and profits that are off the charts…and as you focus the lens in close, you see that the Amazons and Walmarts that are employing high numbers of stressed people, have paved all of the pristine land; expanded their enterprises along with their parking lots stinking of tar and asphalt and wiped out swaths of land that are habitat to creatures who share the planet.

Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index

The construction of the GNH Index includes nine domains

Psychological wellbeing
Health
Education
Time use
Cultural diversity and resilience
Good governance
Community vitality
Ecological diversity and resilience
Living standards

We no longer need an economy bent on profit, so that the computer that I’m using has to be replaced every x amount of years, because of it being built to become obsolete in that short amount of time, as the Superfund sites where the minerals are harvested or skeletons of older models of trash accumulate, to litter and poison water and air. There is absolutely a different paradigm waiting for us around the corner.

Jacinda Ardern aims to to bring the New Zealand Maori philosophy of ‘guardianship’ of the environment into politics.

nothing to fear jacinda ardern urges world leaders

nothing to fear jacinda ardern urges world leaders

weforum Prince William aka HRH Duke of Cambridge, Prime Minister of New Zealand and Labor Party leader Jacinda Ardern, Dr. Dixon Chibanda of Zimbabwe discuss mental health and friendship bench

weforum Prince William aka HRH Duke of Cambridge, Prime Minister of New Zealand and Labor Party leader
Jacinda Ardern, Dr. Dixon Chibanda of Zimbabwe discuss mental health and friendship bench

One of the panelists was Dr. Dixon Chibanda of Zimbabwe. He is one of a total of 12 psychiatrists in the country of Zimbabwe, to serve a population of more than 16 million. He conceived of the idea of training grandmothers to essentially – listen – and the program has been wildly successful. HE created and implemented the ‘practice’ called a Friendship Bench. He talks of the Friendship Bench in this TED talk. Grandmothers in Zimbabwe are trained in cognitive behavioral evidence based talk-therapy; empowering them with the skills to listen, show empathy and provide emotional support.

The grandmothers have actually been more effective than doctors, in treating depression, anxiety, addictions and for patients’ overall success rates.

Grandmother Jack in Zimbabwe helped to pioneer the Friendship Bench program

Grandmother Jack in Zimbabwe helped to pioneer the Friendship Bench program

Grandmother Jack was one of the first grandmothers in Zimbabwe, empowered to provide evidence-based talk therapy. She saw 256 clients whose lives were improved dramatically. She is now deceased.

The Friendship Bench has since been adopted worldwide.

It has morphed to not be simply Grandmothers, but for peers to sit with each other to listen and show their support.  Certainly it helps dramatically the people who are suffering from physical or mental illness, or addiction and emotional trauma. And most brilliantly it also empowers the person who is trained as the listener, who can provide emotional support and empathy.

The Friendship Bench looks to get peers talking to each other about depression, suicide and mental health

The Friendship Bench looks to get peers talking to each other about depression, suicide and mental health

mental illness, friendship bench london for peers to talk to each other about depression

friendship bench london for peers to talk to each other openly

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bicycle before sunflowers

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Climbing Sequoias for Climate Change | off-setting global warming with old growth giant redwoods |

I came upon this article in the New York Times, regarding the fact that David Milarch and his co-workers are Climbing Sequoias for Climate Change. It is good information and worth pedaling out there to more people.

Climbing_Sequoias_for_Climate_change

Climbing_Sequoias_for_Climate_change

Climbing_Sequoias_for_Climate_change

Climbing_Sequoias_for_Climate_change

These giant redwoods, Sequoias, are some of the oldest species on the planet. They are genetically designed to intake carbon dioxide and transform it into oxygen.

David Milarch and his crew are involved in an ambitious global reforestation project, recognizing that these trees have the capability like few other species of trees, to dramatically affect the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, transforming it into oxygen.

On Earth Day 2013, The Archangel Tree Project planted ‘cloned’ California redwoods in six countries around the world. They hope to plant the first sequoias in England and Connecticut on Earth Day 2014.

Climbing_Sequoias_for_Climate_change_2

Giant sequoias whisk in (breath in) CO2 and transform it into oxygen faster than almost any species of trees on the planet; they could be the answer to an attempt to reverse climate change.

The lower branches of these giant sequoias are taller than any tree in the East coast of the United States.

The project takes cuttings from the top branches of these super trees, to make clones, and plant them around the world, with the attempt to reforest the planet with trees that could offset the high levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. Also working towards off-setting climate change, Bill McKibben created 350.org, to raise peoples’ awareness about the lowest levels (in parts per million) of carbon dioxide that is allowable in our earth’s atmosphere.

Archangel is locating and propagating the largest and most ancient living things, trees. They have a genetic history of 4,000 years of super-growth. Their object is to spread these species in order to off-set the excess CO2 in our environment. What they are not sure about, is if there is still time for the trees to grow in order to affectively make change.

Climbing_Sequoias_for_Climate_change_3

See my former blog on this same site, “GDP | Gross Domestic Problem | Why the measurement of wealth depends on a healthy environment |
This contains info about the term “gross national happiness” GNH, coined by the King at the time of the country Bhutan, Jigme Singye Wangchuck.

GDP | Gross Domestic Problem | Why the measurement of wealth depends on a healthy environment |

why trees matter | mushrooms offer solutions | Handprint | Gross National Happiness

When I walk or ride along streets basically every where, I look at trees as I pass them by. I see trees as elegant beings, that besides providing oxygen and shade and beauty, create a home for insects, birds and other animals. They are an integral part of what has created life as we know it on our planet.

This Op-Ed article in the New York times sparked my interest.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/12/opinion/why-trees-matter.html

Walnut tree in a gentleman's yard in Pennsylvania.

As this writer states, “In a bit of natural alchemy called photosynthesis, for example, trees turn one of the seemingly most insubstantial things of all — sunlight — into food for insects, wildlife and people, and use it to create shade, beauty and wood for fuel, furniture and homes.” Ah, and sunlight is hardly insubstantial – as I write about in my other blog regarding plasma cosmology and the electric universe theory.

“Decades ago, Katsuhiko Matsunaga, a marine chemist at Hokkaido University in Japan, discovered that when tree leaves decompose, they leach acids into the ocean that help fertilize plankton. When plankton thrive, so does the rest of the food chain.

Trees are nature’s water filters, capable of cleaning up the most toxic wastes, including explosives, solvents and organic wastes, largely through a dense community of microbes around the tree’s roots that clean water in exchange for nutrients, a process known as phytoremediation. Tree leaves also filter air pollution.”

I will let you read the rest of the article yourself, instead of copying and pasting it ‘-))

Yet, on the same subject, mushrooms also have the capacity to filter and clean toxicities out of the environment, as this article in UTNE reader demonstrates. “Mushrooms Offer Solutions for Environment and Economy

http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_stamets_on_6_ways_mushrooms_can_save_the_world.html?quote=294

An image of mycelium below.

“Human beings are more closely related to fungi, than they are to any other kingdom. Within a single cubic inch of soil, there can be 8 miles of these cells. Mycelium are externalized stomachs and lungs, essentially extended neurological membranes.” Paul goes on to say that mycelium form a fabric which is the biological version of earth’s natural internet. The internet, in turn, is man’s tool, or extension, which can be allocated to protect the biosphere”. It’s kind of like the concept that DNA replicates itself, in order for life to ultimately witness and see itself.

We can not measure the worth and wealth of a country or its peoples through qualifiers like the GDP, Gross Domestic Product; the monetary value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders, because this becomes a

Gross Domestic Problem

Gross Domestic Problem

Bhutan has a more enlightened way of approaching the subject, with the King’s assertion of a measure of Gross National Happiness!

Recognize that happiness and environmental health play a much larger role in the attributes which contribute to ‘quality of life’, than ‘wealth’, as measured by economic means alone. Bill McKibben who started 350.org contributed this article about the politics of global warming for the Rolling Stone magazine “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math“.

We need to pay attention to our carbon footprint, showing the detrimental results of our actions on the environment as well as to actively become aware of our social handprint, revealing the benefits of our actions on nature; with the concept of balancing out what we take, through what we share and give!! Our handprint measures the positive impacts we can make, simply by changing the way we do things; at home, at work…

You can read more about this
http://challengingbehaviour.marketingmagazine.co.uk/2012/03/05/forget-your-carbon-footprint-whats-your-handprint/

Why does this matter? Because we don’t inhabit this planet alone.

http://www.joelsartore.com/galleries/the-photo-ark/