Heart Like a Mirror

by | Jul 9, 2021 | ShiftHappens

“The heart of the person before you is a mirror. See there your own form.” 

-Shinto proverb

Most of the world’s great faith traditions teach the centrality of loving your neighbor as yourself. Iterations of the “Golden Rule” have been spoken in temples, mosques, churches, synagogues, and even kindergarten classrooms, such is the universality of this profoundly simple truth. 

Treating others as we want to be treated is also a foundational tenet of heartivism, which is the intersection of activism and heart underlying the philosophy of The Pollination Project. Yet for activists in particular, how and why should we extend grace and understanding to those we perceive are working against us? If injustice has broken our hearts and called us to act, what duty do we have to those who allow that injustice to perpetuate? 

The answers to that question are many, but here is one I offer: The impact your activism has on your own life, wellbeing, and sense of interconnection is a meaningful outcome. 

Activism is about positive action. But if acting on your deepest held convictions consumes you with anger, disconnects you from anyone who does not share your beliefs, or seals you in an ideological echo chamber, is the world made better by your walk in it? How long can you hold the vitriol inside before it becomes corrosive? Remembering that we cannot offer that which we do not have, how can we work for peace while full of hate? 

Wishing ease, peace, and wellbeing for “others” – practicing the “Golden Rule” – is not antithetical to your values; if you are to be someone who devotes your life to compassion consciousness, it is the only way you can sustain these values and your own beautiful spirit for the long journey ahead.


Academic professionals Carla Forte Maiolino Molento and Rodrigo Morais-da-Silva founded Cell Ag Brazil at the end of 2023 with support received from The Pollination Project. The objective of the newly created association is to reflect, contribute, and promote the development of cellular agriculture in Brazil through proactive promotion and unifying actions among different audiences interested in the development, production, and commercialization of food through cell cultivation processes. 
With a seed grant, they founded the organization and designed a logo that represents their mission. They are now inviting people and organizations to participate in the association so that it gains greater relevance. 
Their members will be distributed across three chambers: 1) academia, 2) private sector, and 3) third sector and civil society. With this, they aim for diverse representation and to create a positive movement to act in different areas to promote and accelerate alternative proteins in Brazil and Latin America.
Billions of animals involved in food production in Brazil will be impacted in the medium to long term from this work. Data from IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) indicates that approximately 6.1 billion chickens, 56.5 million pigs, and 30 million cattle were slaughtered in Brazil in 2022. 
With this association, Carla and Rodrigo may help reduce the number of non-human individuals involved in food production as they help to speed up the replacement process with alternative proteins.
In this World Day of Social Justice we celebrate the transformative impact of The Pollination Project and our dedication to seeding the essential change our world needs. Since its inception, The Pollination Project has been at the forefront of empowering grassroots initiatives, providing the crucial support needed for small-scale projects to blossom into powerful agents of social change.

Our unique model of micro-granting has enabled a diverse array of projects across the globe, touching upon various facets of social justice including environmental sustainability, poverty alleviation, gender equality, and human rights. From providing clean water solutions in remote villages to empowering women through education and entrepreneurship, we always believed in the power of individual action to create a collective impact.

Each project funded is a testament to our faith in the inherent goodness and potential of every person to contribute meaningfully to the betterment of society. These initiatives not only address immediate community needs but also foster a culture of empathy, equity, and inclusiveness - essential pillars for achieving true social justice.

On this World Day of Social Justice, let's draw inspiration from the myriad projects The Pollination Project has nurtured. Their work reminds us that each small seed of kindness and action can indeed grow into a mighty force for good, paving the way for a more just and compassionate world.