by Lauren Allison

At times, our work as humane educators can seem challenging. Dealing with the issues of the world can bring about intense emotions and even feelings of hopelessness.

Coming Back to Life: The Updated Guide to the Work That Reconnects (340 pgs) by Joanna Macy and Molly Brown is an updated guide for helping people to explore the Work that Reconnects and a primer for creating positive social change.

This book does not shelter us from the realities of our Industrial Growth Society, but it pushes us to look at our world through a lens of empowerment.

As Macy says, “If we are to overcome the problems we face, we need what I have called a sense of universal responsibility rooted in love and kindness for our human brothers and sisters. In our present state of affairs, the very survival of humankind depends on people developing concern for the whole of humanity, not just their own community or nation.”

The book includes a series of carefully crafted methods for engaging people of all ages in work that helps them to reconnect with their passions and find a way forward with new intention.

The methods in this book are easily adaptable for classroom use, with a chapter devoted to how to engage in these difficult topics with children.

As you read, you will be able to pull out countless activities and adaptations to match your intentions and audience, while reminding yourself that the act of engaging others is the work that we as educators were meant to do.