‘Life First’ is…
…a high ethic that the Children’s Fire Movement (CFM) would like to see embraced, not only by individuals, but by our businesses, organisations, decision making bodies and institutions of power.
It is to ask oneself, “will this action, this purchase or this statement, truly support a healthy, life-affirming future for our children and their children’s children?”.
Our ancestors spent their daily lives in deep relationship with the natural world – a world they realised they were an integral part of. As a result they looked to nature as their guide and aligned their societal practices with natural law. During this process they made a basic, but fundamentally important, discovery – that most other creatures make the continuation of their species (their children) THE number one priority.
You’d think that this would be a no-brainer and a truth impossible to forget, but humanity, in all our brilliance, seems to have become so very distracted by our perpetual consumption of planet Earth (most of which we don’t even need) that we’ve taken our species to the brink of self-annihilation!
One particular indigenous tradition that fostered the need to prioritise their future generations created a symbol – a potent reminder to ensure that they would never forget. They called this symbol the Children’s Fire.
Life First is our modern day distillation of what the Children’s Fire has to teach us.
Some insights into what Life First IS and ISN’T
Firstly, Life First is not the same as pro-life (nor do we have any affiliation with it). We mention this as it’s a concern voiced by quite a few supporters on first hearing of Life First.
- promotes empathy and compassion.
- is not judgmental, damming or incriminating.
- promotes inclusion and commUnity.
- is not divisive or exclusive and does not create separation in the world.
- promotes self-knowledge and self-responsibility, both on an individual and societal level.
- is not a head-in-the-sand mentality that enables old self-gratifying patterns to continue whilst pointing the blame at others.
- promotes self-authority and true democracy.
- is not dogmatic, pyramidal or totalitarian.
- promotes peace and peaceful protest (see this article for our perspective on this).
- is non-violent and is not enslaving in any way.
- promotes a healthy continuation of the human race upon an earth where life truly thrives in all it’s diversity.
- is not a socio-economic doctrine of fear-based survival that undermines the planet’s, and our children’s future.
Demonstrate your agreement with Life First
There is a real pragmatic need for us to collectively step forward and demonstrate our commitment to Life and our future generations. If you are in agreement with the above description of Life First, please be an inspiration to others and sign our Life First campaign today.
Examples of Life First in action
The possibilities are endless but here are a few suggestions and hopefully well known examples of Life First…
- not beating yourself up for not doing any of the other things on this list – it’ll only get in your way! 🙂 Non-judgement is central to the Life-First ethic. Knowing that you’re perfect just as you are right now, learning and evolving, enables you to choose to do things differently: go at your own pace and take baby steps if you need to.
- caring for the Self, first! We all know that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t truly care for others in our fullest capacity. It’s why, in the event of an air emergency, we’re told to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first. This isn’t a selfish act – to truly care for the Self is an act of compassion that ripples out to touch all of life. If we improve our sense of well-being for example, maybe through some form of daily practice (which is an act of Self Care), we tend to consume less because we no longer need to fill the emptiness we often feel. This results in a healthier life-style, less consumption of planet Earth, less pollution, more resources for others etc. And, because of our improved sense of well-being we also have a positive affect on other human beings 🙂 – everyone’s a winner!
- taking time to simply BE in nature. I know this might sound like a waste of time to some, but actually, this is one of the most important things you can do with your time. It is not only scientifically proven to have a positive impact upon your mental and physical well-being, but it also deepens your appreciation of, and strengthens your relationship with the world that we are an integral part of. If we’re not in relationship with someone or something, why should we care about what happens to them? It’s just the same with the natural world – if we don’t have a relationship with it, why should we care about species extinction or climate change (in any way that goes beyond our basic instinct to survive)?
- buying responsibly from ethical companies and sustainable sources (fair-trade, free-range, organic etc). This is one of the key changers: putting your money where your values are can have more of an impact on company and governmental policy than voting does.
- the three R’s – reducing, reusing and recycling (in this order).
- campaigning, speaking out and taking peaceful action against injustices to humanity and the environment
- forming community groups
- to support one another and become more resilient
- boycotting unethical products/organisations (see buying responsibly above)
- for bulk buying of food and energy
- campaigning etc
- to create alternative cashless systems
- to implement truly democratic systems that reflect the needs of both people and planet.
- to share creative pursuits
- …loads more here.
- switching to a green energy supplier
- growing your own food, sourcing local produce and eating less meat (the methane produced by livestock is a bigger contributor to climate change than CO2).
- et cetera…
Let’s do this together…
“The time for the lone wolf is over” – Hopi Elders, 2000.
Many of the above actions, especially the more self-orientated, fundamental aspects which include non-judgement, self care and self compassion, can be very challenging to sustain when going it alone.
This is the very reason we have spent the past few years developing the buddygroups platform (see buddygroups.org) in order to house our Community Area and deliver our training programmes. It has been proven time and time again that human contact and peer-to-peer support is in itself not only an important ingredient when creating long-term change of any kind, but also a major contributor towards our general health and well-being.
You can access our Community Area and training programmes via our CFM Memberships. Memberships not only provide access to peer support, helpful resources and CFM guidance via a bespoke, multi-functional platform, they also provide the movement with a vital financial lifeline.