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the writing of k d adamson | ecocentrist. renegade futurist
Can Your #Maincharacter Change The Story Of The Future?
I was honoured to be asked to contribute to the Emirates Literature Foundation’s Voices of Future Generations earlier this year, which is designed for younger readers under the age of 12. In my experience younger people are often the most willing and able to entertain big philosophical concepts and ideas, so I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to write for them and explain a bit about what ecocentrism means, and why it’s so powerful. If you’ve got younger people in your orbit, maybe ping them a link to the VOFG blog.
Are you a #maincharacter? Do you have #maincharacterenergy? It’s a BIG hashtag right now. It means being the main character of your own life, actively taking control and focussing first and foremost on yourself, your wants and desires.
#Maincharacter says that the most important thing is us, and what we want. And actually that’s nothing new. Our world is built on the belief that human beings are the most important things. Our lives and how fun we can make them takes priority over any other living species. We measure and value everything according to its impact on us humans.
There’s a word for this. It’s ‘anthropocentric’, which means ‘human-centred’. Which, by the way, is a great word to drop into conversation now and again. It sounds super-smart and always impresses people. Particularly old people like me. You’re welcome 😉
I think anthropocentrism is responsible for a lot of the problems the world faces. So I take a different view. As an ecocentrist I believe in the value of all living things – both human and non-human species – and natural ecosystems. Ecocentrism is about seeing intrinsic value. That means a living thing has value and is worth something in its own right, not just because of the use it might have to humans.
Ecocentrism helps you realise that we often value things wrongly. Our human-centred view of the planet and its ecosystems is so narrow that we describe all sorts of things as free – like social media, or McDonalds Happy Meal toys for example – which have real costs in terms of energy, the environment and impacts on non-human species.
If you think about it #maincharacterenergy that makes your personal desires the most important thing in the world is really like anthropocentrism that’s drunk a whole crate of Red Bull. It turns our already narrow window on the world into a mirror. But here’s a really powerful plot twist: how about making non-human species the main character? What about a world where the health and happiness of non-human species was equally as important as ours? That’s changing your window big-time stylee. In fact that’s beyond a window. It’s not even a big glass wall. That, my friends, is knocking down the human-centred house altogether!
The stories we tell ourselves are really important. Every villain is the hero of their own story so changing our stories, about the world and our place in it can be very powerful. It can change the kind of future world we imagine, and it can even help us to create it. Because you can’t truly #liveyourbestlife until you find purpose, meaning and value in lives other than your own.
K D Adamson answers our 3 big questions
What’s your favourite book right now?
Right now it’s ‘The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity’ by David Graeber and David Wengrow. But growing up my all-time favourite books were the poetry of AA Milne. ‘When We Were Very Young’ and ‘Now We Are Six’ are both brilliant collections.
What’s your favourite animal/life form?
The tardigrade. These tiny creatures are almost unkillable. They can survive extreme heat and cold, even in the vacuum of space. Scientists had to get really creative to kill them, but they managed eventually. If there’s ever a mass extinction event though the tardigrade will have the last laugh.
What’s your favourite hero/heroine?
That would be the tardigrade.
Images © Emirates Literature Foundation/K D Adamson
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the writing of k d adamson | ecocentrist. renegade futurist.
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