You have a favorite piece of clothing.
One day, you notice that a button is loose and some of the fabric’s weave has unraveled, leaving some threads dangling.
If you really like this piece of clothing, you’ll probably try to fix these imperfections so they don’t get worse.
If however, you don’t care for it enough to expend the energy to fix it, you might tell yourself that it can be replaced—or that you can find something similar, or better. If you lived in Cuba or the DRC, replacing it wouldn’t actually be an option.
Another possibility is to do nothing. Just let it unravel, missing buttons and all, until it eventually becomes unwearable. Maybe use the remaining fabric for an art project.
Relative to your lifestyle, would you do what’s sensible? Or are you more inclined to do what’s easy?
Keep Asking Lots of Questions
Does the average first-world person prefer to replace a worn garment with something new? Are there too few seamstresses and tailors in the western world? Why do people who can sew and repair garments primarily work for in third-world sweatshops or for the wealthy? Why is this skill-set so absent and relatively undervalued in America? There was a time—in Europe, in my parent’s generation—where sewing was on par with driving as a valuable skill.
Why does an internet search for “world’s poorest island communities” reveal absolutely nothing? Why does a search for “world’s poorest islands” reveal only a scant handful of bloggers, some of whom comment on the ‘obscene disparity’ between say, Haiti, and the tourists who pay to be disgorged there from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship that sits quietly in the distance awaiting their suntanned return for unlimited food and booze?
For that matter, why is there unlimited access to booze on a finite planet while 783 million people don’t have access to clean water? Are we not aware enough that the present ways of our culture are unsustainable?
Where am I going with all this, you may wonder…
Those of you who understand the art of the metaphor and the unmistakable theme of my work, know all too well where I am taking you.
The Biosphere (aka., Life on Earth)
Despite our (collective) limited understanding of what creates a healthy, sustainable world, we are nevertheless aware that all of life depends on the health and well-being of our planet.
We’re talking about an organic living system. The planet is an organic living system that our singular species (7 billion of us) share with 8.7 million OTHER species.
What we know with surprising certainty is that it is the web of life as a whole that has made it possible for our species to exist. Like your favorite piece of clothing.
As David Suzuki states, “To tear at the web in such a massive way with so little regard for our own future is a kind of collective insanity that is suicidal.”
Come on now, why would you tear up your favorite piece of clothing?
A Fertile Future
A fertile future rests on three things:
- Organic, thriving uncompromised ecosystems;
- Wise, compassionate stewardship of said ecosystems;
- The re-creation of human systems that unequivocally reveal the long-term value of the first two.
You can quote me on this.
Yes, your children are equally precious. So are mine. What kind of world do we want to see them grow up in? Being a parent opens our hearts to ongoing, unconditional love. What would it take for the planet that supports us unconditionally to experience that love too?
If this single statement of what I believe a fertile future rests upon contributed to the foundation of entirely new human systems and thus, ways of thinking that were based upon sustainable ethics, we would be able to turn things around. Maybe not in my lifetime, but maybe in our children’s lifetime.
Please don’t wait for another spark of inspiration. Join a group that’s actually doing something to make the planet healthier.
Share your and others’ ideas far and wide. Talk with me on this blog.
Move out of your comfort zone and speak for that which does not have a human voice but needs yours to survive.
Every act and expression of thought has the power to change things.