Written by Bob Hopkins | Published by Green Books | Reviewed by Elizabeth Lymer
Have you noticed you’ve got a womanly aptitude for achieving but also facilitating others to do what needs to be done to keep a household and its members working well? I find that when I get on and use this ability with my family we can transition easily from difficulties into things running smoothly, creativity blossoming and all of us being more capable of maintaining love as the underpinning dynamic of our relationships. In short, we are happier.
‘The Power of Just Doing Stuff’ by Bob Hopkins reminded me that Allah (SWT) has designed me – with my womanly and my personal aptitudes – to serve beyond my family and in my local community and the interconnected world at large. In order to appreciate the enormity of today’s global climate problems, we have to understand something about the world economy. In his opening chapter, ‘Why we need to do something’, Hopkins outlines current climate problems and trends in oil extraction and their subsequent effects at the local level. He demonstrates the inappropriateness of actions, such as using nuclear power, centralising services like hospitals and schools and using out-of-town shopping centres, as responses to these problems.
Alhamdulillah, Hopkins provides many examples of alternative responses that people are already making in their communities, from organising skill-shares, creating food co-ops and solar energy companies, to printing local currencies as a means of keeping money circulating locally. Hopkins grants his readers confidence in the potential of small achievements and warmly invites us to become active in the Transition Movement – to be part of joining up the various good initiatives in our community as a movement towards making a new economy that truly addresses our needs.
Reading the rest of ‘The Power of Just Doing Stuff’, we become acutely aware that our communities have been fragmented by today’s ‘normal’ economic activity and we learn about alternative real solutions to climate change which build community resilience. We discover how our local community and the world could become happier. As Muslims, we’re duty-bound to undertake the responsibility of vicegerents of the earth:
“Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth.’” (Al-Baqarah:30)
How should caring stewards of the earth respond to climate problems? In the Transition Movement, aspiring vicegerents can find the company of others who care to find out and to do what’s best for our local ecology and then work with each other to respond to climate problems, insha Allah.
Facilitators of meetings play a small role in terms of the time they dedicate to the Transition Movement yet they are invaluable for groups to work amicably together, to be able to make decisions and get on with implementing them. As I said, I think women have a special aptitude for facilitation.
Hopkins says, “Transition is one manifestation of the idea that local action can change the world … There are people near you who can be optimistic and practical too.” Transition Movement responses to climate problems begin with our own, our neighbours’ and our community’s needs. For the love of Allah (SWT), as His vicegerents, don’t you think we Muslim women need to join this movement?
‘The Power of Just Doing Stuff’ by Bob Hopkins and more information about Transition are available from: http://www.transitionnetwork.org
Elizabeth Lymer is children’s author of ‘Islamic Nursery Rhymes’ by Greenbird Books http://www.elizabethlymer.co.uk