As some of you know, it was Earth Day earlier this week. I’ve been thinking that whilst we can indeed make changes like saying ‘NO!’ to plastic bags and buying local produce, we need to move away from the idea that in order to be more environmentally-friendly, we must go back a step. Living by candle-light and refusing to drive a car are behind the times. That’s like giving a new mother an all-singing, all-dancing hi-tech, lightweight stroller, only to then take it away from her and give her a massive, heavy, wooden one that she is expected to push her twins around all day in whilst running errands. Elaborate analogy, but I hope you get my point. With the incredible advances in the technology of renewable energy resources in recent years, why can’t we have our cake and eat it too?
Open your eyes and see that human beings undergo mental expansion at a phenomenal rate. And it is only becoming more rapid. Talk to any teenager around now and it is likely that he or she is way more switched on than you and I were back then. With this evolution comes the capacity to improve the way our society functions, provided the cognitive skills are used beneficially.
When I am feeling my most frustrated and hopeless, a good friend of mine tells me that I am ‘like a dog chewing on the furniture again’. This is the perfect analogy for what happens when we are not encouraged to create. I don’t mean this in the surface-level artistic sense. You don’t have to be a musician or a painter to be an artist, and you certainly don’t have to be either of those to create. Designing an expandable shoe which can offer sole-comfort to a child for 5 years is a practical masterpiece. Being a key player in making renewable energy resources ‘the norm’ is incredible. And a chef trying to make eating insects more palatable to the ‘western world’, quite frankly deserves a gold medal. My point is that when we are playing to our strengths, we are able to create the seemingly magical.
I am not hating on celebrating the Earth, doing a beach clean-up, hosting a sacred ritual of the trees in the forest or living without any electronic devices for a week. By all means, clean up the six-pack rings that kill marine life, take your shoes off and walk in the dirt and focus on your writing for a week – pencil and paper like the old times, should you wish to! I am simply asking: why don’t we progress beyond what John McConnell proposed back in 1969 – a day that we could all stop and focus on peace and respect for the Earth – and make it daily practice? Why can’t we look at all the issues we have causing the global scale scum-production in the first place and alter them before we have to run around picking up the litter and planting more seeds? Do you understand what I’m saying? As any skin cancer specialist will tell you: wear sunscreen as prevention is key. The same thing applies here. Don’t spend one day a year trying your best to clean up the mess we live in, only to revert to old bad habits the other 364. Don’t accept that things have to be this way.
Every single person that reads this is talented in one way or another. A society which tells us there is no cap on our growth and potential is one which benefits us all. I encourage you to lobby for the changes that we so desperately need. And work on those ridiculously farfetched ideas you have that seem unrealistic. Nurture those dreams, play with every detail and start to think of who could help you make them happen. Someone out there will appreciate what you have to offer; usually more than you initially think. All hail global communication please.
I think what I’m really trying to get at here is that we must change the way we do things. Think radically and dream big because nothing is impossible if you set your mind to it. I love John McConnell for his dream back in the 60’s, but think that now we’re in 2015 we need to go a step further. Speak up for the global-scale changes that need to be made and let yourself create that next great thing.