The Children’s Fire Movement (CFM) is founded upon peaceful pragmatism, not blame or judgement – as how can we create a truly peaceful future for our children if it is blame and judgement that inform us in our daily lives? As Mahatma Gandhi said, we need to “Be the change that [we] wish to see in the world.”
There are two important concepts, inspired by the Children’s Fire, informing the Life First ethic that the movement is founded upon…
In this moment everything is perfect – it is what it is!
This is a call to view the world objectively, to see what really is – to not get caught up in judgements and labeling things as right or wrong, which can cloud the situation. Judgement fragments us as a people and distances us from both the challenges and the solutions. Likewise, putting all our energy into blaming others only serves to dis-empower us and strip us of our ability to respond.
Seeing the moment as perfect does not however mean to condone activities that diminish life, or to be apathetic towards behaviours that threaten our future generations.
This moment is constantly evolving – the only constant in the universe is change!
Each moment contains the element of choice and the option to do things differently. This is a call for us to use a high measure of discernment (rather than judgement) when considering action on behalf of our future generations. This is a measure that goes beyond the subjective “is it right or wrong?” and asks “does this belief, thought, word, process, action, behaviour, policy, law etc support the continuation of Life and our future generations? Or, does it diminish Life?”.
Please note that when we speak of the continuation of Life we are referring to a scenario where Life truly thrives – we are not talking about mere survival here.
It can be good to get angry!
Looking at life objectively and suspending judgement does not mean we must become dispassionate, cold-hearted robots! Of course, as humans we feel passionately about things and experience anger at the way things are from time to time. Our emotions can be a powerful ally when aligned with an objective, centred and appreciative mind. After all, emotions are what kick-started this movement for peaceful, democratic change!
Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. – Augustine of Hippo
We felt it important to add theses words as we are living in tense and unsettled times with blame and resentment firing off in all directions – there is even talk of revolution here in the UK (you can read our own take on rEvolution here). We hope this page gives a more balanced insight into what Life First is and we will be compiling a list of specific examples of what Life First IS and what Life First ISN’T in our blog.
When we master this we master the art or true appreciation.
1. To be objective and honour the existence of everything!: in each moment all things (be they a situation, experience, person, action etc) simply are what they are – on one level they are perfect as there is no right or wrong! WHAT? I hear you say! OK, hang in there…
2.We have choice: in each moment we have the power to discern, not between right and wrong (that’s subjective and comes from judgement), but between what supports life and what diminishes it. This discernment is a high measure of our ability to choose, act and create.
he sense that there is a perfection in all things is therefore an important aspect of the CFM and for some, especially when this viewpoint is held in isolation, can be very challenging indeed.
in and Yang etc can also be expressed as Being and Becoming. From one perspective everything is perfect just as it is (the Being) – there is no need to do anything other than to simply BE what is! It is the ground of potential from which newness can grow. From another perspective there is the desire to become something else, to improve on what was before – to birth, grow and evolve (this is the Becoming).
So what does this mean for us in practical terms?
It means on one hand to appreciate what is, right now – to appraise the current situation objectively and determine what we would like to carry forward from this. It means to not harbour blame, judgement, hate or any desire for reprisal towards anyone regarding the present condition here on Earth (or indeed towards yourself – go easy on your self, you’re perfect! ).
On the other hand it asks, “what we would like to do differently in order to secure a more life-affirming legacy”. The measure we need to be using here, as opposed to “is it right or wrong?”, is “is it life-affirming or life-negating?” – “does this thought, word or action support life (and result in it being even more vibrant), or does it diminish Life?”.
What Life-First Isn’t!
Please note: putting life-first should not be confused with the pro-life movement, rather, the Children’s Fire Movement can be described as being pro-choice.
Life-First is NOT a decision-making process that results in…
- A world where we cut down 1.5 acres of rain forest every second – a rate which will consume what’s left within one generation.
- 25% of the planet’s mammals facing imminent extinction, whilst overfishing has left 75% of the world’s fish stocks on the verge of collapse.
- The justification of large-scale pollution of the air we breathe and the water we drink in order to make money.
It is NOT an economic doctrine that encourages excessive (unsustainable) consumption of our natural resources whilst paying lip service to the fair distribution of wealth on our planet…
- Where there are 1,153 billionaires, around 24 million millionaires and 1.4 billion people who still live on or below the poverty line.
- Where we spend an unimaginable 1.63 trillion dollars a year on our combined military budgets, and every 3 seconds a child dies from hunger or an easily preventable disease (mainly due to poverty).