GREEN movement

drawing by jme (2015)

Social change for climate change—be conversant

Death Paradigm

by greenmovementtoronto


  • Consider the death paradigm whenever it comes to mind
  • Consider someone you love in the moment they are crushed under the wheels, smashed up into the air into oncoming traffic
  • Consider whatever violent, avoidable, sudden death brings to mind
  • Consider the death paradigm as part of your life on our city streets


Is any reaction inappropriate? You could blame someone—quick, now, then it’s done—or drive or ride or vote with the death paradigm unexamined; or send flowers or send the children to camp.

You are a flower and your earth, rain, and sun are toxic. You react as you can, or as little as possible.

Consequential cost

The cost of the sudden, violent, avoidable deaths is as unknown as the depth of your reaction. You might break it down into manageable parts, then examine them when you find the time or courage—perhaps on a long walk with a friend, or on a Silent Ride or a Die-In.

If the death you hear of is “not personal” then you are also a victim, because your immersion in the paradigm has transformed your compassion into a token.

Consider what dies in you when your neighbour is killed cycling.

This article first was first published on the (private) discussion site Green Movement Toronto (“Toronto’s first Green philosophy club”) on June 18th, 2015.

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