It has been a long hiatus since the last article, and has been for a good reason! No, nothing to worry, have been spared from the virus (as yet!), neither have I been been caught in the changing lines of raging forest fires or drowning streets or vanishing ocean coasts, what I was busy with was actually a deep observation and note taking of what’s unfolding on a macro scale all around us, whether its unfolding in the USA, some Latin American nation or some location within Asia, there are common threads that bind us in moments of triumph and despair and this short piece is all about navigating through these areas and try to realize the coded meaning that resides therein! So here we go!
It now seems like another life to even think and remember what normal social behaviour was and how it was to be “human” and to engage with fellow humans! Sure enough the virus did what it was meant to do (and continues to do so even as of now), sure enough there have been meaningless loss of lives all over the world and even more damaging has been the economic mayhem that has ensued- lost livelihoods, altered futures and what not, but within all of this chaos and ambiguity resides a singular fact and that is “We alone allow to be impacted by what comes our way, not because of what comes our way, but because of how we choose to respond or react to what is coming our way”!
The virus is a classic case, no one is taking away the potency and threat that it brought along with it, but what is equally important is the regard or should I say dis-regard that we as a society chose to offer it, which went on to empower the virus and allow it do what it did and continues to do! Stay on with this thought as I open the next unfolding challenge that plagues us on a routine basis- Climate Change!
I have written earlier on as well, to blame the Earth or to blame a changing climate is perhaps the dumbest thing to do! What we need to do and accept is that, we make choices which are in direct conflict with what nature wants to play out and if you build your home on a rail track, sooner or later you are going to be run over- you build it over a hundred times, you will be hit a hundred times! Like with the Virus, the problem with climate or rather the changing space around climate has more to do with what we have accepted and decided to pursue- call it development, greed or pursuit of the unknown- based on what suits the local narrative – stories are spun and sold day in and day out- the Earth really doesn’t care, when the next storm comes calling or the Earth begins to move and give away- it will not make a difference based on which political party is in rule over a given region- it will come down heavily as it desires to and will be indifferent on what side of the “argument on climate change” you decide to be on- as long as you stay in company of societies that violate basic and fundamental respect of nature- you too will be hit- more or less depending on how close or far away form the epicentre you happen to be!
Whether it is the story of virus or climate change, the common thread here is more to with the choices that we exercise and how they go on to shape our today and the oncoming tomorrow! The virus can and could have been halted by a simple act of “distance”, the issues of climate change could have been simply allowed to play out by providing nature the space that it needs and halting the senseless encroachment into nature especially in pockets where it has held it’s sway through eons.
Easier said, then done right, well sure that’s what it seems like, but that is the fact. The most complex problems almost always have simple and fundamental solutions; it is the unfounded belief and bias that we have developed as societies to come up with complex solutions to big issues, that leads us to create more complexity, rather then resolving the existing ones’ . This is perhaps the greatest paradox of the times that we live in! So you may now ask, so what next!
Well, real trick and the perhaps the only way is to shun away with the habits and behaviours that have “stuck-on” to us as individuals and as societies. It is these prejudiced dispositions which end up leading us to our own accelerated demise, as individuals, as failing thoughts or as failing societies and faltering governments’! Unless we resolve to bring about a fundamental and lasting change in what we seek, how we re-define success and failures, as Individuals and collectively as societies we will end up experiencing hits every now and then, each time our pursuits cross the delicate line between need and greed!
It is easy to blame a raging fire, a torrential downpour, those endless nervous landslides and earthquakes on climate change, flip channels and thank the heavens that your family and you are safe, but unless you do not adopt a behavioural change in consumption and way of living, you will continue to contribute to the effects of climate change and will only end up being a mute spectator to the ever increasing events. So what is that you can change as an Individual or a Society?
Well as an Individual, small choices, could be expensive, may not be can bring in a lot of change! Simple acts of prolonging the life of your clothes in the wardrobe, limiting your travel to meaningful pursuits, calibrating your consumption to what is necessary rather than what all that you can have an access to (simply because of who you are) can go a long way to make things a shade easier. Sure enough no one is asking you not to enjoy or live your life to the fullest, the only modification is to make that quest a bit more responsible and aligned to the right side of the line which nature wants you to abide by!
As societies, collective choices done with greater intent, focus and purpose can have a rapid and amplifying impact to bring about visible changes in a few years, doesn’t’ matter which is the next pandemic that wants to pay you a visit, or which weather condition is about to throw up a surprise at you, as long as you have built a robust social framework of value adhered existence for the holistic wealth of all the constituents and you have ensured you are well clear off the nature’s highways’ of change (the fire valleys and flood plains) you will be spared and more importantly the progress that you go on to make will be more sustained and more robust- simply because you will not have to walk into the trap of walking ten paces ahead every year, just to be pushed back by 100 paces every decade!
This fundamental acceptance to believe in meaningful and sustainable change at an Individual and societal level is the key and foundation on which resilience can be built to overcome the next challenges that may come our way either by the intriguing organism or by the splendid display of nature in all it’s glory!
I leave you here with these thoughts for you to reflect and decide on what singular change you would like to embrace to contribute and make the world around you and for you a shade better then what it was yesterday! Remember, it doesn’t have to be complex could be as simple as choosing your next cup of coffee with a little more responsibility!
Ciao for now, will be back soon with another one, until then stay safe, stay wise and stay connected!