Weird is not it? We are the only species destroying our own habitat. Even scientists agree to that now. Our habitat is in bad shape. Yet we still do not act accordingly. We just continue to destroy it as if there is no tomorrow. Maybe that’s not so bad for us, but how about our children?
‘Oh come on, don’t worry: those kids of ours are going to outsmart us anyway so they will figure out a solution for the mess we left them’ says one of my friends. Another, a sociologist states: ‘change of behavior will only happen if we are choking or if the penalties will be large enough.’ I simply cannot believe that. We cannot be that stupid. Maybe its naive, but I honestly believe we can change our behavior by become more aware…. More conscious… So why is it, we do not seem to be very aware of the risks we take with our habitat? Talking to a lot of people, these are the top two reasons in my book:
We finally accept the lousy state of our habitat, we no longer try to escape reality by pretending it’s not so bad. Unfortunately we now seem to think we can place all responsibility for it, for any improvement, outside of ourselves. We do so either opportunistically (‘oh don’t worry it will all be alright’) or dramatically (‘we need to build Noah’s ark now!’). Whatever way: this challenge is too large, too difficult, too hot to handle. We think there is no way we can have any influence on it, so ‘hurray’ we can shrug our shoulders so we do not have to deal with the uncomfortable feeling that awareness brings. My dearest mother used to always say: it takes courage to truly look at yourself. We’d rather think: nothing I can do about it, THEY have to do something, not me… the government, our kids, scientists, corporate world, anyone but us. In the meantime we will just go out for some retail therapy, eat our sorrows away with crap and numb ourselves out in numerous other ways like drinking, working or what all not.
Sometimes we know. In which case wee are completely aware of the necessity to treat out planet well. Yet sometimes even then we give up, because what’s the point really, if we try, but THEY, they don’t?
But let’s be honest: most of the time we all are too unaware, too numb to even see, feel, hear or smell the beauty of our habitat, let alone feel the moral obligation to take care of her, instead of just take from her. I know this all too well myself. In my past I lost myself working. I had been living at a square for years when I noticed the old trees blossoming. They did so every spring, I had never noticed before.. I was busy you see, very busy with extremely important business… And if I was not in the office, my gaze was focused downwards on my smartphone or any other screen, headset plugged in. So yes, I admit it: I was completely unaware of my habitat, of the effects of my behavior on it. And foremost I was unaware I could make any difference. However small.
My charismatic clever dad taught me another lesson never to forget. I confessed I had never known my central heating system ran on gas. ‘Makes sense to think it operates on electricity right,’ I tried to justify my ignorance. “You are even more blond (read stupid) than I thought, he jokingly replied. “Have you never seen a little flame in the kettle? Have you never heard the sound WHOESH from the kettle? He almost killed himself laughing. Whoops, I still have a long way to go to become aware of what all I can do more, next to for example being a vegetarian…
But today I regained my motivation. I read Wubbo Ockels last letter to us. Holland’s first astronaut passed away May 18th 2014, leaving us with his words of inspiration. I recognize a lot of my own search for answers on this site, on how to save our planet: our species will only survive if we embrace and bridge our differences and consciously include our habitat in this unity.
So I will take my responsibility as good as I possibly can. For all of US!