We are pleased to share here extracts of two new books by Rob Work, a long-time ICA colleague and author of A Compassionate Civilization: The Urgency of Sustainable Development and Mindful Activism – see also his bio below.
Serving People & Planet: In Mystery, Love, and Gratitude
This memoir (January 2020) celebrates the love between one person and one planet, between the Earth community of people and ecosystems, and Robertson Work. These stories tell of his love and gratitude for family, friends, colleagues, communities, cities, nations, and ecosystems that he has cared for and served around the world with ICA, UNDP, and NYU. The reader journeys with the author from his birth (and before) to his 75th birthday (and beyond) and participates in his mysteries, awakenings, calling, travels, loves, missions, beliefs, acts of service, accomplishments, struggles, tragedies, ecstasies, gratitude, and life lessons.
Rob writes in the Prologue:
Part I of the book contains short chapters on my ancestry and birth, childhood, adolescence, education in high school, university, and graduate school, and initial awakening and calling. In Part II, there are chapters about my life and work in five countries when I was with ICA, a nonprofit service organization, living and working in poor villages and slums. Part III has chapters concerning my time as an international civil servant with UNDP providing policy advice to cities and countries on decentralized governance. In Part IV, the chapters deal with my teaching innovative leadership in NYU graduate school, being a consultant and trainer, speaking at international conferences, blogging, and writing A Compassionate Civilization (ACC). In the fifth and final part of the story, the two chapters focus on publishing the book and promoting key messages of ACC, engaging as a climate/justice activist, and envisioning some of my future life and work.
In Parts II through V, in addition to work-related matters, there are personal and family episodes scattered throughout. The Epilogue provides my summary reflections on temporal turning points and several thematic areas of importance to me, In the Postscript, I pose a few questions to enable the reader’s own reflections on the book, my life, and your life. Appendix One contains URLs of videos of some of my recent public talks, radio interviews, my blog posts and social media pages, and interviews and excerpts on other websites, along with several of my publications. Appendix Two is the revised 1991 Introduction. In the Bibliography, the reader can find other books and online resources related to my work and life.
Available on all online book sites. Book Depository provides free shipping worldwide: https://www.bookdepository.com/Serving-People-Planet-Robertson-Work/9781684716166
Earthling Love: Living Poems
In our time of chaos and stress, people need ways to touch truth, beauty, and love that refresh and inspire. This book of poems (July 2020) celebrate planet Earth and diverse humanity and commemorate being part of a family and a grateful Earthling. The eighty-two poems written over fifty-five years offer joy, grieving, sensuality, and contemplation of the dance of life. Discover poetry crafted by a global-local citizen that interrupts the rational mind, creates a vision of galaxies and flowers, and sparks radical aliveness in a fleeting moment.
Rob writes in the Prologue:
The poems are arranged in two collections: poems celebrating Earth and humanity; and poems commemorating family and self. The poems celebrating Earth remind us of the vast universe, galaxy, and solar system of which we are part. They celebrate the precious gift of being a member of the Earth community. They call us to care for the Earth as loyal Earthlings. They paint a vision of an exquisite mountain, a mighty river, a blue sky, ducks, and trees. The poems celebrating humanity remind us that there is one human race with a rich diversity of wisdom, behaviors, cultures, and social systems. The poems commemorating family honor a grandparent, wife, children, and grandchildren. They grieve the death of a spouse with sorrow and honesty. They urge onward the young. They express excitement and gratitude for new love. And, the poems commemorating being one small Earthling share some wisdom of letting go, paying attention, kindness, and vowing to be happy.
The earliest is an anti-war poem written in 1965 when I was a student and activist at Oklahoma State University and published in OSU’s “Soliloquy.” Four other poems were also published at that time, the first in 1963 when I was eighteen. The next poem I wrote was almost a decade later in 1974 commemorating the adoption of my son in Seoul, Republic Korea. Then, after another ten years, in 1984, seven family poems were written in Kingston, Jamaica. In Caracas, Venezuela, I wrote twelve in 1987 – 1990. This was a dynamic time of the dissolution of the family association of the nonprofit we were part of, the Institute of Cultural Affairs (ICA), the exploration of new ways of thinking and meditating, and encountering the creative work of Jean Houston, PhD, in releasing human potential. Then, while with the UN, in 1990, I wrote one poem in New York City, and one in Peekskill, NY, in 1993. My most prolific period was in Garrison, NY, where I wrote forty-five poems – over half of the book – from 2000 to 2006; this included the period after which my wife passed and when I fell in love again. In 2007, I wrote two poems in Delphi, Greece, and Haliburton, Canada, and in 2014, seven poems in Cold Spring, NY, after launching the Compassionate Civilization blog. Finally, in Swannanoa, NC, living near the grandchildren, I wrote five poems in 2018 – 2020.
Available on all online book sites. Book Depository provides free shipping worldwide: https://www.bookdepository.com/Earthling-Love-Robertson-Work/9780578711256
About the author
Robertson Work is a nonfiction author and ecosystem/justice activist. He has published three books, A Compassionate Civilization, Serving People & Planet, and Earthling Love, and contributed to eleven others. Having worked in over fifty countries, he was UNDP deputy-director of democratic governance, NYU Wagner professor of innovative leadership, and executive-director of ICA in four countries. Robertson and his wife live in Swannanoa, North Carolina, near family, friends, the Great Smoky Mountains, and the Blue Ridge Mountains. He is now preparing a book of fourteen of his UN, ICA, and other speeches given in six countries, and on a book of his essays of both societal and personal reflections. He is working to elect progressive leaders at all levels and to call society to deal with climate chaos, ecocide, racism, misogyny, authoritarianism, systemic poverty, and perpetual warfare. His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org