We Need the Exuberant Participation of Millions

by Seetha Ananthasivan

We Need the Exuberant Participation of Millions

The time has come when what is good for our planet HAS to become good for us. We have to change ourselves for the Earth, the Earth won’t change herself to accommodate all our needs.

There was a time when as an educator I felt strongly that adults should encourage children to find what they want to engage in, have fun with or choose as a career for themselves. Rather than being pushed into monocultural needs of an economic system designed for the power and super profits of the 1% and what is considered a “good life” for the 10%.

I say the same thing today, but the time has come when our earth that gives us our survival needs demands attention. Each of us also needs clean air and water, good food, hopefully not too contaminated by pesticides and other chemicals, and a future to look forward to that does not look bleak with extreme weather events.

So today, I would say that whatever our children do, they need to keep in mind the centrality of refusing to do things that trash the earth; and proactively do everything we can at both home and societal levels to harmonise ourselves with Nature’s principles. Be it e-cycling our wastes, minimizing the use of plastics, joining in protests to save forests … the list can be endless.
We have forgotten that we are nature – and it is time to remember again!  If we are nature, the polluted air, water and land that is messing up the earth’s ecosystems is also destroying our bodies and wellbeing.

It is not only Nature outside that is messed up – our minds are messed up too. By being programmed by a top-down centralized political and economic system to expect all major change to come from above – from leaders and experts. It is also time to realize that most of the time, they have been the ones whose beliefs about endless consumerism and destruction of Nature that has brought in climate change, terrible poverty and malnutrition and many other crises.

So today, it is time to realize that what is good for the planet, for its ecosystems needs to become good for us. Time for all of us to understand that we need to participate in human survival and wellbeing, we can’t leave it to the “leaders” alone.

We are the people, we are the communities who need to take care of our “commons” – see that our spaces don’t get clogged with plastics, that we re-cycle our organic wastes, save water, harvest rainwater and most of all avoid being consumer-puppets who keep buying the needless stuff that add to carbon emissions and profits for the corporations.

And we can go beyond our immediate surroundings in some way or the other : support the work of rejuvenating lakes, planting trees, supporting organic farmers and initiating or joining for any green activity around us.

Yes our beautiful planet – and all species on Gaia, our living Earth – need the exuberant participation of millions of us!