“People killing, people dying, children hurting, you hear them crying, can you practice what you preach? Would you turn the other cheek?… Where is the love?…”
Just recently as I have sat and heard the news of all that people are trying to do to raise awareness of climate change, as I have scrolled through Instagram seeing those that I follow make eco-swap after eco-swap and as I have read yet another passionate talk from Greta Thunberg, my heart has been filled with pride. Proud that at long last, people are standing up for our planet, that people are trying no matter how small a change it is and that the next generation are going to be the changers for this world but there’s a but… Urgh, I know! Where there is positivity, negativity seems to somehow follow.
At the same time, there are groups of people who are intent on criticising those who are doing all of the above. There are evil comments, disgusting threads and memes, there are despicable attitudes and some very shocking ones too. It has honestly left me wondering where is the love? (hence the song which I now cannot get out of my head!)
I’ve done some thinking on this and calmed myself before writing (luckily for you guys!) There are a lot of reasons for people to turn mean, to pick others apart, to criticise so here are a few things that have crossed my mind in the last few days…
You Are Guilty
Quite scary once you actually admit that isn’t it? I tell myself this every day because I AM GUILTY! We all are. We have all succumbed to this disposable life, the convenience, the ease of just throwing the stuff away and buying more. And as soon as you can admit that it will help you to stop being so damn negative about those who are now making changes. Oh and just to add there is nothing wrong with feeling this way, it is being honest with yourself and with the situation. We have to face facts… next point…
To hear the words ‘mass extinction’ is bloody scary and to hear them again and again can make many people want to stick their head in the sand. Believe me, if that would make this all go away I would be right there too! But unfortunately, this isn’t just another disaster movie, this is real and us humans have caused it. We are the only species who have been capable of wiping out other species, we are the only ones who are going to be responsible for doing this to ourselves. Yes, climate change does happen naturally and our planet is constantly altering but the fact that we have created carbon emissions, pollution and too much waste, means that we have sped this process up. These are facts. There is no arguing this and if we don’t all face this now it will be too late.
Of course, it is. My word when I first heard about a lot of this last year, I sat and cried. When I watched part of an episode of Blue Planet where Walruses had no ice left to sit on and were plummeting to their deaths because they had climbed a rock face (which they are not designed to do) and then couldn’t get down I bawled my eyes out. When I watched Drowning in Plastic I was sickened by what we had all done. And this then ties back in with the guilt part. We cannot believe we have done this and if we allow that overwhelming feeling to consume us it adds to that guilt and can turn a lot of people quite defensive which we all know can turn nasty.
You Don’t Want to Change Your Lifestyle
No, I get that, it’s tough to make changes in your life when it works so well for you. I mean I used to use baby wipes for everything, they didn’t just clean his bum, they cleaned the floor, the skirting boards, the toilet even!! But I realised how wasteful I was being, I realised that they were actually made from plastic and I looked into the alternatives. Getting your head around these changes is often harder than actually doing them. I’d always imagined how hard reusable nappies must be to use but as soon as I took the plunge and used them on my second baby, I quickly found out how easy they actually are and how much satisfaction I get from washing them and reusing them rather than throwing them away and buying more. We have all been brainwashed by companies and huge corporations via adverts that tell us how much easier our lives will be with this amazing product, with this latest gadget, with this disposable item and we have become conditioned to think that this is the best way to live. This isn’t your fault, there are higher powers, it’s those advertising Gods who are whispering into our ears. And they HAVE made your lives easier and no you may not like the idea of changing now but the fact is, we do all have to. So stop sulking, stop moaning and stop having a go at others for trying.
You Don’t Know How To Change
And again, this is a scary thought. Where would you start? How would you know what to do? What’s the best alternative? Is everybody else doing it better? Then this leads to that defensive feeling, head back in the sand, let’s lash out at others who are trying instead. Enough said.
A 16-Year-Old Girl Is Standing Up For Us All
Greta is doing what so many other people should have done 30 or more years ago. Yes, climate change has been touched on but nobody with her driving force has ever been around. Oh, and she is just 16. Does this intimidate you? Does this annoy you that it isn’t a 50-year-old man? Well, do you know what? She could be anyone and I would still fully support her because it does not matter to me if she is a girl, a woman, a boy, a man, black, white, disabled, blonde, ginger or even a bloody alien! Because at the end of the day all that matters is that she talks sense and that is all I need in my life. She has a passion that pours out of her, she has this amazing mission to save the planet and I don’t see anybody else doing anything about it. Age doesn’t come into this, nor gender. Get over it.
This is most probably the biggie here; ignorance. Far too many people are failing to educate themselves. They are not doing their own research or listening to what scientists have to say. They are far too settled in their own lives and they refuse to hear it. It’s so easy to carry on, it’s easy to say ‘it isn’t my problem’, it’s simple to think that you’ll be ‘dead and gone’ by the time the Earth is in jeopardy. That’s it keep your head well and truly fixed in that sand there!! But who does that help? Not yourself, not your relatives, not the future generations, not the other animals and creatures on our planet. Ignorance is not bliss, it is dangerous.
My last word comes from something I shared on Instagram which is a more concise way of saying how I am feeling on all of this:
“How I feel each time I read yet another comment having a go at young people who are trying their best to be greener or those who attack Greta for speaking out or each time I hear that somebody has been criticised for making a change in their lives but that they aren’t ‘eco perfect’ so there’s no point. Come on guys, what on earth? We are told all of our lives to try our best, that perfect doesn’t exist and that passion is our driving force and yet if we post an image of our babies using cloth nappies we are attacked for using plastic toys, when Greta stands up and talks about climate change with confidence in front of a room of politicians, she is trolled for being seen having snacks from plastic wrappers, a school child goes on strike for our planet and yet gets criticised for having grown up using air conditioning… And it goes on and on. And it shouldn’t. One small change *should be enough for people, one step in the right direction *should be applauded, those who are now reflecting on what they *can do should be supported. There’s no such thing as ‘eco perfect’, only those who live in the woods, grow their own food and never purchase anything are eco perfect and I can’t see many of us doing that. At the end of the day, we live in this modern world where luxuries and convenience have taken precedence. We’ve been brainwashed into buying those disposable products, we’ve been persuaded to get the latest gadgets and we’ve been convinced that there is no other way. That’s not on us. That’s on companies, huge corporations and the governments. So let’s not attack one another. Let’s stop the negativity, let’s silence the trolls and let’s start celebrating every small sustainable step that somebody is making because those will add up to a huge change. Be kind. Always ?”
Where is the love? It should be all around. We should be sharing it with one another at a time like this, we should be standing united, we should be demanding action from companies and our Governments, we should not be taking it out on one another. Please stop before you write that comment, please look into climate change and pollution for yourself and please start to think about how you could help our planet instead of criticising those who are at least trying.
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