Why Rebel by Jay Griffiths: review

Book cover for Why Rebel

If you have ever been a rebel, are an active rebel, or are beginning to think about rebelling this book is a must-read. Although it addresses climate change, in particular, and the author’s experience of being arrested at an XR protest and the consequences of this and her trial, it deals with so much more about the necessity to rebel. It is our responsibility to speak out against injustice and protect our shared home: Earth. The political will is not there so the people have to be noisy nuisances and more. We will not get a second chance.

This book, published earlier this year, is profound, erudite, beautifully poetic, and the arguments are intelligently contextualised. Most importantly of all it is a plea from the heart, personal and deeply moving. I defy anyone not to weep with her, yet, simultaneously, be in awe of our wonderful world and the daily miracles of its existence. Indeed, she made the hard, old-school judge weep as he sentenced her, because he was so moved by her closing statement. She did break the law. Justice must be done! The law is an ass.

Why rebel?

There are three main strands to answering her own question: why rebel?

Because our footprint on the earth has never mattered more.

Because we need a politics of kindness.

Because nature is not a hobby.

We need kindness

What I have taken away from this book more than anything is the need to be kind. Yes, we must shout out. Yes, we need to get back in touch with our intuitive selves as all indigenous, ancient societies know. Yes, we need to show compassion towards the planet that sustains us, but we must do all of this with kindness in our hearts. Only then can we dream of moving mountains. We need to tell the truth.

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