In her award-winning book Living While Human, author and ecological activist Arwinder Kaur encourages readers to be part of a transformative movement. It is a pleasure to have her here today for an interview to talk about the book, developing a “compass for the soul,” and establishing deeper connections with onself, others, and the Earth.
Disclosure: This sponsored post features one omen’s journey to inspire a “powerful sea of change” in her book, urging readers to confront the chaos and crises that afflict our planet. As an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases through links in this post.
Interview with author Arwinder Kaur
I admire Arwinder’s message in her book (I am reading it now) and in this interview. She explains below how navigating a complex world, seeking a healthier life, and safeguarding the planet for future generations is possible with simplicity and proximity. She calls for global change, as you will see below.
This interview delves into Arwinder Kaur’s transformative perspective, challenging readers to join the global movement for change. She beckons us to hold those in power accountable and redirecting our efforts toward unity to preserve the Earth for future generations. Let’s get to the first interview question!
In Living While Human, you encourage readers to become part of a ‘powerful sea of change.’ What does this movement look like?
Looking at the planet, we see the earth itself is in a state of chaos (floods, fires, hurricanes). More specifically, to us as a species, humans are in a state of chaos.
Everywhere are various types of wars. Within countries, with conflicts and divisions. Between countries for power, resources, and economic advantage, politically destabilized and run by tyrants and elected officials protecting corporations and driven by greed rather than representing their own citizens, whom they are supposed to protect.
The biggest destroyers of the planet and us are corporations. We are all so busy trying to stay afloat or just obsessing about ourselves as individuals. This is designed to keep us this way.
Now is the time; as individuals, we must unite on a global scale. As a species, to push every one of those in power to focus on protecting the human race and the earth.
We are on the verge of massive devastation, individually and as a species. This must be a unified global movement in a coordinated way to push for a healthier way to live, and that has to begin with repairing the damage to the planet.
All of our personal struggles become somewhat meaningless if we find we cannot breathe the air, get clean water to drink, and have a safe place to live. If we need something to bring us together, the protection of the earth is one cause we all need to concern ourselves with. The children are not going to make it if we don’t.
You explain well the urgency of the situation. Is that what you hope readers get out of your book?
I want this to be a collective wake-up for all of us. I want people to feel a sense of urgency that reflects the dire situation we all are in.
We can’t be self-focused. We need to make conscious choices, and we can’t live on auto-pilot or a default basis.
Everything we do or don’t do impacts the world we live in. This world is on the verge of total implosion, and we are all going about planning vacations, getting pedicures, and polishing our cars. Completely disconnected and disassociated from the urgency of our plight.
We are ignoring the real problems and focussing on corporate manufactured ones. I want people to begin feeling the outrage we should be feeling. This is a catastrophe we need to confront through this powerful sea of change, or everything we think we are accomplishing or gaining is becoming futile for us and future generations.
If we direct our collective outrage at those in power, we can demand the actions required. We can’t be complacent or complicit any longer.
Given what you’re saying, what does living healthier as humans look like?
First of all, we have to stop living on auto-pilot. Too many people are doing things in a default process rather than as conscious decisions.
We do this because we have focused on what institutions have been promoting, making it difficult not to fall into the default life — Go to school for 12 years and be qualified for nothing, get a job, get married, and have children all in a sequential way and under pressure to do so.
Many don’t realize they have become locked into a life they either never intended or were unprepared for. If a young person becomes a “parent” at 16, whether male or female, your destiny has been forever altered and restricted.
Having to marry this person and try and meet all the obligations of raising a child, getting a job, dealing with financial stressors, and often becoming a single parent at a young age does not bode well for a life well lived. People have become locked or trapped in life before they have had a chance to learn what their destiny should even be.
Society and corporations benefit by trapping people because it keeps them populating, consuming, and busy paying bills. Pretty hard to focus on the state of the planet when you have your nose to the grind.
That ties into the ‘compass’ you describe in Living While Human. Can you explain more about that?
In my book, I talk about “the compass” (an internal tool that sees through the clutter to the clear principle to apply). Our first step as we become young adults is to figure out who we are. What we believe, what is important to us, and what are our boundaries and principles to live by.
Do we want to get married? Do we really want kids? If so, with whom? How many? Can I afford it? Can the planet sustain this?
Is the partner I am with compatible with my life, [and] destiny? Do we have the same approach to parenting, finances, and goals?
Many people can’t answer fundamental questions about who they are or their values and principles. If you can’t answer these questions, how can you ever know who is compatible with you?
As well as all the other decisions about life that need to be made. If we cannot connect with our deeper selves, how can we possibly with another?
The other most vital connection we need to have is with our fellow species and the earth. Every species that shares the planet with us contributes to keeping the earth healthy and viable. That, in turn, allows us to live and survive.
Without them (plants, trees, bees, insects, sea life, microorganisms, and all creatures), we would not be able to breathe the air or have clean water to drink. We need to have gratitude and protect these which give and sustain all life and human life. No other species destroys it, only us.
We are focusing on petty, meaningless, futile things while disregarding and destroying the sacred ones that give us life at no cost.
Wow. And we are too busy to focus on the earth, which only hurts us over time?
As mentioned above, we go on destroying our lives, the children’s future, and the very earth we need to survive because we are too busy. In many cases, [in] business that has nothing to do with improving our lives or our children’s.
[We] focus on activities that don’t enrich our lives, our connections, and relationships, nor help us improve our odds to survive the current ecological crisis.
Interview with author Arwinder Kaur cont’d.
How can we start adjusting our lifestyles to strengthen our ‘compass’?
Delve deep into your psyche and answer the questions required to acquire your compass. Your navigational guide to a richer, more meaningful understanding of yourself and, in turn, with others. Give to the earth to preserve all ecological systems, without which we die.
If people do not share your principles and behave in destructive ways to others and the planet, don’t look the other way. I can’t. It is not ok for people to treat others badly or destroy the planet. I don’t want to support that or condone it.
We first have to be comfortable with who we are and what we believe and stand for. What are we willing to fight for? At least not ignore? Confront it.
If someone is an abuser, even if they don’t abuse me, that is not ok with me. That is against my compass. The compass is what navigates us to what is right but also navigates us away from what is wrong.
People need to stop filling every moment of their day and life with activities. What are we so busy doing? Most species only do what is required for absolute survival. We are busy chasing wants rather than appreciating what we need.
Young children barely have time to just be [and] spend downtime with parents. They are taxied to school and an incessant number of activities, and everyone collapses into bed at night. No one with time or energy to just enjoy time, just “being.” Quiet. Reflect. Deep talks. Walks in nature. Ours is not a lifestyle that is healthy or sustainable.
Test your comfort level with being by yourself, doing nothing. No tv ,no social media. Just sit. How long can you do that? The more uncomfortable you feel, the more you need to figure out why.
Being busy allows us to distract from very important issues in our lives that require our attention. Most of these are rooted in some form of disconnection.
How will these modifications improve relationships with others and ourselves?
Having a compass, living a conscious life, not being on the default setting, giving, and wanting open, honest, deep communication with ourselves and others will lead to deeper connections with others who feel the same way. It must be a healthy, transparent relationship.
Too many people give up who they are (they may not know) and want to be, or want in their life, to be with someone who is not compatible with their destiny. Short term, they may think the sacrifice was worth it, but it eventually reveals itself and leads to complex consequences when having to separate, go through a divorce, dealing with custody and financial issues.
Much of this can be prevented, but we must live with a compass to navigate these pitfalls. Most are not doing this, and their lives unravel and become out of control and chaotic, especially for children.
Congrats on the multiple awards for your book! What one message do you want readers to gain from Living While Human?
Whatever you are doing or where you are in your life, it is time all of us start making choices that protect and preserve the earth. We all need to unite and take on those in power (elected officials and corporations) to stop putting all the onus and responsibility on us as individuals (though we need that, too).
But the cumulative destruction and total devastation of the earth (dumping toxic waste, clear-cutting away our lungs, poisoning the air [and] water, climate change, unliveable conditions, poverty, failing economies, and structures) need to be the responsibility of these agents in power. They need to do the massive clean-up and repair with money they are not paying in taxes or for restitution and compensation to communities and the planet, instead making it the individual’s responsibility when we have no power to change it on [a] global scale.
Politicians allow this to go on. Take bribes, look the other way. All this has to stop.
Put the outrage and accountability where it belongs. If we push for a global to stop dropping bombs on people and [the] planet or sending rockets to Mars, we can channel those trillions of dollars to saving the perfect home we already live in but for human destruction.
We can stop global suffering and stop mass migrations and refugees if people don’t have to flee war-torn areas to live and raise their children. No one wants to be a refugee. We have the money and means.
We must push for a new path forward, away from destruction to protection and preservation. It’s only too late if we don’t do anything.
Thank you for sharing such an important message. When it comes to simplifying how we live, how do we start?
I’ve probably touched on this. But think about priorities in terms of need vs wants. Don’t confuse them. Products are not needs. Air, water, food, housing, safety, security, and a future to look forward to are needs.
Put life in order of our priorities, not on things the corporations want us to confuse as needs. Get your children and community more involved. Grow the grassroots movement and momentum. Get your compass so you can make sure your children have one to help navigate their way.
The planet is not a special interest issue. It is our life and should be the highest of priorities.
Connect further with author Arwinder Kaur
Reach out to Arwinder Kaur through the Contact page on her self-titled website. That is where you can also learn more about the book, the author, reviews, awards, and more.
Read Living While Human today
Get the eBook of Living While Human at Amazon. Please do not order a physical copy of the book from Amazon, explains Arwinder, as they are selling an outdated version. While the Kindle is up-to-date, the hardcopy and paperback are not.
You can also get the updated version of Living While Human at Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Book Depository, and Smashwords.
Arwinder kindly gifted me the eBook, and I will write a review of it on the blog when I am done reading. I will link here to the future review — soon!
Final words from author Arwinder Kaur
Arwinder Kaur leaves us with these words about the book Living While Human:
“I offer many concrete ways to tackle the problems we are facing. I can’t really do it justice by telling a few things from it because it is written in a way that builds the case in terms of our problems, what they are rooted in, and who is involved in maintaining the status quo. And then provides a template and plan for reversing it.
“So I hope people will care enough to read it and especially to get young people aware of it, as they will be the ones left with this daunting task to face.”