Having the Courage to Respond

Having the Courage to Respond

Are the children fed, the old people comfortable, and the women unafraid?


This week’s guest on Humans and Earth, Kalani Souza, offers these as essential questions to assess community well-being and resilience, as well as preparedness for climate change.

They’re questions that bring clear focus in a time of complex demands for humanity and Earth.

What I’ve been thinking about as I’ve published my conversation with Kalani is, how can we have the courage to respond creatively to the complexity we’re facing, to the needs and problems of the world?


Kalani’s life and work have focused on community resilience, cross-cultural understanding, and protection of Earth’s resources. He exemplifies having the courage to respond creatively to problems. He also exemplifies the courage to defend what you love.


I invite you this week to ask yourself, “How can I have the courage to respond creatively to a problem I’m concerned about on this gorgeous planet we call Earth? How can I have the courage to defend or advocate for what I love?”


In coming weeks I’ll be offering you two resources to help you channel your creativity and love into practical actions that benefit life on Earth.

Watch for my free webinar on June 6:

Collaboration with Earth: How to Nurture Regeneration for the Planet and Yourself. The sign-up page will be available soon. The webinar will help you discern how to move forward if you believe things can be better here on Earth and you’re ready to contribute at your next level. If you’re yearning to contribute to regeneration of the natural world and human health, and you wonder if your own life can improve as you step into your authentic, soulful contribution, you’ll benefit from the webinar.


My new course, Collaboration with Earth: How to Nurture Regeneration for the Planet and Yourself, opens on June 14. The 7-week live course will help you transform your heart-centered vision into sustainable and regenerative actions that nourish you, other people, and all forms of life on our planet. Through exploring the 7 Steps of Collaboration with Earth, you will attain confirmation that your compassionate vision is valid and actionable, and you’ll learn how to translate Wise Focus and Reverent Relationship into a Regenerative Vision. You’ll also gain confidence in implementing your contribution to regenerating people + planet with Soulful Sovereignty and Support, not the burnout that can occur with an activist approach. The course will give you support in exploring Sacred Collaboration with people, plants, animals, other-dimensional beings, and Earth herself in order to create Reverent Regenerative Outcomes. The course will be offered this June-July at the introductory price of $89.


If you are looking at the world right now and wondering whether we’re headed into regeneration or decline, make sure you’ve read A Guide to Informed Optimism: Things to Know and Explore to Feel Hopeful about the Human Future with Earth. It will help you keep your focus on all the goodness that is developing in the human-Earth relationship, and give you ideas for finding your next way of contributing.

For Humans and Earth,

Chara Armon

Re-localization and Relationship: Kalani Souza

Re-localization and Relationship: Kalani Souza

Kalani Souza is founding director of the Olohana Foundation. Olohana focuses on building community capacity, cohesiveness, resilience, and emergency preparedness around food, energy, water, and knowledge systems.  Kalani is a storyteller, singer, songwriter, musician, poet, philosopher, priest, political satirist, and peacemaker. A Hawaiian practitioner and cross-cultural facilitator, he has experience in promoting social justice through conflict resolution.  Kalani’s native roots allow him a unique perspective of the collision of two worlds: one steeped in traditional culture and the other a juggernaut of new morality and changing economic and political persuasion. He is a messenger of integration and collaboration in a world normally rife with exclusion, oppression, and hopelessness. His work in behavior modification research, leadership, team-building, and political strategy gives him generous insights into group dynamics and systems of governance. He is a Coastal Community Resilience Trainer, a cultural competency consultant to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Services Center, a consultant to the Presidents Ocean Policy Task Force, and has taught Conflict Resolution at the University of Hawaii. Find him at www.http://olohana.org

In this conversation focused on relationships and re-localization, Kalani speaks about how:

  • In a multi-faceted life, his center is “the community, the home, the children—the relationships…I work right here, within arm’s reach.” You have an impact by doing what you do in your local place.
  • The simplest way to ensure a community’s well-being is to: “make sure the children are fed, the old people are comfortable, and the women unafraid”—these achievements require solid infrastructure, healthy relationships, access to resources, healthy sources of energy, and a healthy environment.
  • “Since we’re going to have adjustments [with climate change], we should strengthen our communities with food, fresh water, energy, shelter…gather our people in place and create real regional place-based capacity that is micro-sized and focuses on women and children’s well-being in their place.” “We do this thing as family, deeply in relationship with each other.” We talk about how permaculture and Transition are crafting re-localization.
  • We are now able to contrast the colonialist “Doctrine of Discovery” focused on ownership with the “doctrine of relationships” among people and between people and nature. Kalani speaks to economic injustice and our priorities as nations, questioning why we are not acting more forcefully.
  • A prayer he recently composed acknowledges our relationships with nature. He speaks it in Hawaiian and then English, explaining its focus on “the relational aspect” of our existence with the natural world, who is The Family You’re Never Without.
  • “We are spirits having a physical awakening, so to me, the coffee is sacred, the red wine, these very physical things”
  • “I believe conflict is the opportunity for positive change. We need the conflict to change; it doesn’t have to lead to war or violence; it can lead to a sharing of needs and desires for the future…The answer must work for everyone!”