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Dare To Be Great
Unlock Your Power to Create a Better World
'I know it may not yet look like it, but we are sowing the seeds of greatness for countless generations to come. That is the Great Work of our times. Yours and mine.'
This is a book unlike any other. It does not tell you what you must do, it does not set out a guide for the 10 definitive steps to becoming great by next Thursday. Dare To Be Great is both a playful, inspirational conversation and a heartfelt, lived call, daring each one of us and our society as a whole to become truly great. Celebrated Earth lawyer Polly Higgins was a luminary in the environmental justice movement as she worked to Stop Ecocide across the globe. She was a beacon for how to live the brave, bold lives that, at our best, we imagine for ourselves. This book shares insights from her own remarkable journey, inspiring us to recognise and step into a greatness within - that is not about grandiosity but something far more exciting: aligning with our unique purpose in service of a better world.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
Maybe its me but i didn't enjoy this book, the reading of it - i admire Polly Higgins so much and what she achieved and put in motion but the hype of the book is so much more than the book itself. Having said that, i'm heading to www.stopecocide.earth/conscientious-p... to sign up immediately as a Conscientious Protector.
Ms Higgins words boiled away in my subconscious, even after signing up as an earth protector, so i've started a series of blogs on ecocide - which i'm calling the Ecocide Diaries. The first dealt with the original killing and burial of the crime of ecocide, referred to by Ms Higgins in her books and the subject of research by Dr Short et al of the University of London - here's the link wisethady.wordpress.com/2020/05/15/th... (less)
This is one of those books which is likely to be a bit marmite. Basically, your appreciation of it will probably depend on whether you are already sold on some of the concepts that it discusses. As a reader I sit somewhere in between, so parts of the book I embraced, and others I was a little more reserved about. The risk with something like this is that it becomes an echo chamber book. Lauded on the social media news feeds of those who are already eco aware, and completely lost to those who are not. That would be a shame as that’s totally contrary to the inclusive spirit of the book.
Polly Higgins sadly died of an aggressive lung cancer last year, in 2019, aged just 50. So she did not get to see this re-publication of her book (titled in 2014 I Dare You to be Great) with additional appendices. The main structure of the book reads as a kind of self-help tone, mixed with moments of anecdote and streaked with political comment.
Essentially, Polly seeks to guide her readers into a mental place where they value self care without harm to others. The principle of ‘first do no harm’. The premise follows that from this point of peace, readers extend that mentality to the world around them. I guess it could be seen as a guide document for Eco Protectors. These are supporters of the introduction of a law of Ecocide into the ICC. The creation of this role was in part in order to offer some support and protection against prosecution for conscientious protesters.
So, where do I sit, before and after reading this book? I’m already on my own eco journey so was totally on board with Polly’s ambition for a global law of Ecocide. I agree that individuals and corporations must be held to account for their actions in the pursuit of profit. I also agree that people should operate from a point of kindness. I wasn’t so keen on the discussions of the innate. Probably because I have a huge aversion to anything self help and treat books that feel like this with a dose of cynicism. That’s not to say that there’s not value in these kind of books, though.
I couldn’t help but be preoccupied with what Polly would have made of the pandemic world in which we have found ourselves. The global coronavirus crisis is highly relevant to many issues which Polly looks at in this book; from an individual’s sense of self to the nature of community. At many points while reading Dare to be Great, I felt a real resonance with the words from the context in which society finds itself. It may well be that this book is just what a pandemic-struck society needs while it figures out what it wants to become.
In the months before global lockdown and all of the subsidiary crises that this has instigated, ecological protection and awareness had been hurtling forwards, gathering pace and support. Where will it be afterwards? My hope is that humanity will see this as a wake up call and not as a reason to become more protectionist. I’m afraid that I don’t have Polly Higgins’ faith in human nature, though, so I wait with some nervousness to see what kind of world will emerge post-covid. Maybe the truth is that I should take Polly’s call to be ‘great’ to heart and be more proactive.
Ironically, it’s those who aren’t already sold on eco priorities who are probably most in need of something like this. So how do you get the messages in front of these people? I’m not entirely sure, but I think every individual who gives it a go and tells another is probably a good start.
The writer has engaged the readers by telling them what a person should do to succeed rather than obliging them to certain rules and regulations. The book incites its readers to get up and do what they love most which in turn engages them in what they really love. Overall, a very nice experience.