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  • Writer's pictureRobertson Work

My 2021 Report to People and Planet: A year of creativity, care, and courage

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

Activities as a Nonfiction Author

In 2021, I wrote, edited, with layout and design assistance by Amnet (India), published, by my imprint C2 (Compassionate Civilization) Press, and marketed my fifth book Society, Spirit, Self: Essays on the One Dance. The book contains sixty-five essays, written during fifty-six years, and organized into nine themes and three collections – societal reinvention, spiritual awakenment, and personal transformation. Seventy-six friends on social media kindly provided encouragement and advice during the book’s creation. It was reviewed and endorsed by Chic Dambach, Tina Spencer (Australia), Harold Nelson, PhD, David Elliott (Vietnam), Elsa Javines Batica, Kathleen Callahan, Jennifer Hawthorne, Karen Wilkison, Cynthia Leonard, Shabbir Cheema, PhD, Nikhil Chandavarkar, PhD (Brazil), Phyllis Hockley, and Jan Loubser (Barbados).

Articles on the book were published in the UNDP former senior staff bulletin, the Institute of Cultural Affairs International (ICAI) online Global Buzz, the ICAI website, The New Ecozoic Reader, and the Black Mountain News (NC). The book is available on Amazon, IngramSpark, and most other online sites and local bookshops including the Oklahoma State University (OSU) student union store, and the Sassafras on Sutton bookstore in Black Mountain, NC.

Because of my fifty years of relating to the Korean people, I was excited that Ms Yoo Hee Jae, vice-president of the ORP Institute graciously committed to translate and publish a Korean language edition of my new book. Benjamin Potot of Lapu-Lapu City in the Philippines held regular study sessions of the book with his local community linked to local action. The book joined my other books in several libraries including the University of Oxford’s Bodleian in their UN staff collection, OSU, Chicago Theological Seminary, UN Association of Former International Civil Servants (AFICS), the Library of Congress, ICA Social Research Center, Black Mountain, NC, and Durant High School (OK).

I posted ads for my five books on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, email, Amazon, and my website and blogsite. Friend Addi Batica volunteered to contact groups about preparing Spanish and/or Portuguese editions of my books.

And I reviewed and wrote endorsements for wonderful new books by colleagues Dr. Shabbir Cheema (Journey from Kamalpur: A Memoir), Dr. Ha Vinh Tho (From Inner Transformation to Social Innovation: Towards a Compassionate Society, on Gross National Happiness), Richard Flanders (Under the Great Elm, a memoir), and Patricia Webb (Morning Work: A Memoir in Poetry and Prose).

Activities as an Ecosystem/Justice Activist

Also in 2021, I made six keynotes and presentations on Zoom to 1) the 5th Korea Facilitators’ Conference, at the invitation of Ms Yoo Hee Jae, vice-president of the ORP Institute, 2) Virginia Tech students, invited by professor Dr. Ameena Zia, 3) Blue Ridge UN experiential fellows, also at Dr. Zia’s invitation 4) ICA Nepal Youth Ambassadors for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), at the invitation of Ms Ishu Subba, executive-director of ICA Nepal, 5) Room-to-Read network, invited by Kay Nixon, and in collaboration with Linda Hamilton, and 6) the Southwest Asia Center for Research and PhD Studies (Nepal), at the invitation of professor Dr. Tatwa Timsina, founder of ICA Nepal. And I was interviewed by Osha Hayden on her podcast “Aspire with Osha” and received invitations for two other podcast interviews with Cynthia Leonard and Mary Alice Arre.

I continued as an adviser to four groups – the ICA Nepal educational support program, the Blue Ridge UN experiential fellows program, Overview Institute of Australia, and Planetary Human. And at the invitation of Ricardo Neves in Berlin, I became an adviser for his just-launched Lifelong initiative.

I wrote frequent posts on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter concerning social and ecological issues and mindful activism, including on my pages “A Compassionate Civilization”, and “Movement of Movements (MoM)”, and other pages including Teilhard de Chardin, and Regenerative Consciousness Community, and on my website and blogsite.

I worked with a UK facilitator group to promote the role of facilitation in governance. At Rosemary Cairns’ invitation, my article on the critical role of facilitation in governance and responding to climate chaos was published in ICAI’s “Winds & Waves” online magazine on Medium. My article on the Korea facilitators’ movement was published in the online “Integral Leadership Review” at the invitation of general-editor Eric Reynolds, PhD. My article on my activities after UN retirement was published in the UN AFICS’s 50th anniversary bulletin. And I provided advice on a UN publication at the invitation of Dr. Adriana Alberti of UNDESA.

I was asked to facilitate a senior staff retreat for UNDP’s crisis bureau but declined due to timing issues. I was invited by dean and professor Sudarshan Ramaswamy, to dialogue with his faculty and students of the Jindal School of Government and Public Service in India in February 2022. I discussed areas of mutual interest with Christian Sakar co-founder of Wicked 7. I wrote a letter of recommendation for colleague Dr. Ameena Zia’s application as university faculty. I contacted Duane Elgin, author of Choosing Earth to speak to the ICA online book study group on his book. And I participated in a Zoom meeting with Tom Hernandez, the director of alumni affairs of NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, where I taught for ten years.

Activities with Friends, Family, and Self

In 2021, I received visits to our home-woods from friends Herman Greene discussing Earth law, Bruce Williams concerning the passing of his husband Jack Wallace, Jennifer Hawthorne discussing our latest books, and Kareen Strickler concerning her future location. I celebrated in grief and gratitude the completed life of Richard Sims, husband of Jan Sanders, and in joy, the 80th birthday of Bruce Williams. And I participated in a Zoom meeting with social artistry colleagues at the invitation of Lowie Kawasaki and Jan Sanders.

I prepared end-of-life documents with my wife Bonnie Myotai Treace, and celebrated her sixty-fifth birthday at Looking Glass Falls, her bestselling book A Year of Zen, and her receiving Medicare. I received a visit from son Benjamin from New York, hosted son Christopher and daughter-in-law Jennifer and grandkids Phoenix and Mariela’s visits to our home-garden almost every weekend, and heard granddaughter Mariela sing and grandson Phoenix play the piano, both beautifully. Each week, I had meaningful time with my brother Duncan and sister-in-law Lisa. And I celebrated the 80th birthday of sister-in-law Marjorie Bachert.

On the personal front, I walked thirty minutes each day up and down our neighborhood mountain forest usually with Abbey the collie, and continued to enjoy loving our cat Mr. Chickabee. I lost twenty pounds with our new food plan. I got three vaccinations for COVID 19, flu vaccination, and first shingles vaccination, and received two acupuncture treatments. I experienced more frequent episodes of rapid/irregular heartbeat (afib) but converted naturally before electro cardioversion and identified four triggers about which to be mindful. I acquired a moveable standing/sitting desk.

I enjoyed Dr. Larry Ward’s inspiring online dharma talks and Dr. Peggy Rowe Ward’s guided meditations; and I continued daily meditation at home. I was grateful for the election of a US Democratic federal administration and Congress, continued taking every precaution regarding the COVID 19 pandemic, and was shocked by the January 6th insurrection attempt. And I struggled with anger over injustice and inequality, despair over rising fascism, and doubts concerning the impact of my life and the future of life on Earth with climate chaos and ecocide.

Onward into 2022 in mystery, love, and gratitude!

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