“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish has been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.”
Cree Indian Prophecy
I’d like to say that these words are the only words that anyone should be reading at this point in time, but most are perhaps too busy doing surveys on Facebook about what kitchen appliance they would be and sharing it with their friends and having a “LOL”.
We humans have really done a number on ourselves, and that is just it, we have done it to ourselves. Seldom few have the ability to admit fault in their own lives, so what hope is there that we as a collective species could?
I can appreciate that for some it is a hard concept to swallow that we are killing the planet that we have the privilege of living on, not the right. I can also appreciate that few have the understanding of the difference between a privilege and a right.
I can’t seem to pinpoint exactly when the masses became so easily led, some tell me it happened long before my time, but others tell me they’ve not seen anything like the world we are living in today. I once asked someone in their 80’s if I was just becoming more aware of how parts of the world worked as I got older, and if the world really was falling down around us like I and so many others felt it was. I hoped in vain they would tell me that my line of thinking was just a part of growing up, I was wrong. The told me that in all their years, they’d not seen anything like the world we are living in right now.
George Monbiot put it so elegantly yet confronting at the same time in his piece The Gift Of Death published in 2012 where by he said, “Pathological consumption has become so normalised that we scarcely notice it.”
How true at the time and even more so today.
A standout quote from his piece and one, which bears much relevance to the quote at the beginning, is this, “Forests are felled to make “personalized heart-shaped wooden cheese board sets”. Rivers are poisoned to manufacture talking fish. This is pathological consumption: a world-consuming epidemic of collective madness rendered so normal by advertising and the media that we scarcely notice what has happened to us.”
What I find particularly interesting about the words here is that it highlights something that I find quite obvious among people these days, but I feel alone in my thinking more than I should. So many accept lies as the truth because it is just easier, it is easier to swallow a thousand lies over a lifetime than to confront just one truth preventing us from truly achieving anything great. It’s no secret that we celebrate mediocrity and re-brand it as “participation” where everyone gets a prize. We seek out the “game-changers” of the business world to “shake things up” and once we have extracted the maximum amount of capital out of a person, a soul, a human, we toss them to the side because their “contract is up” and wonder why we’ve given birth to a world of low self-esteem.
Enter the motivational speaker industry, and yes, it is an industry, where we praise people who stand in front of others telling us nothing that our grandparents didn’t tell us when we were young. Again, we put people and things on pedestals that are far from deserving.
There is a missing link, I’d like to say that what is missing the most in the world right now is love, but I feel like we have more issues to sift through before we get there. I feel next that if we are to move forward as a species, then we should be teaching awareness, and what it truly means to be aware of oneself, of others, and the bigger picture.
The bigger picture is no longer how we can build big business and keep the coffers full, the big picture is how we can keep our children from feeling worthless before they have reached their 16th birthday. The bigger picture is keeping our children alive and not seeing ending their own life as a solution to their problems, problems created and placed on their shoulders by “grown” adults.
If we were to take just one step forward, it would be for adults who have created the world in which their children feel worthless to admit fault. Admitting that they to have fallen victim to the almighty dollar and the ego-based race to the top. And for what? For a postcode, a harbour view? What good is any of that if those you are taking with you no longer want to be alive because of the separation from oneself that occurs in the quest for validation from the outside world?
Show me a world where the adults and self-appointed professionals making decisions for the future of our species stop slinging mud at each other for a second and just say sorry for all they’ve done wrong, and I feel like we could make some progress, and it would be progress which we cannot measure in a monetary value, but by having our loved ones by our side.