Human beings are smart. In fact, we are so smart that we have used our intelligence to perfect the four animal propensities – eating, sleeping, mating and defending. But perhaps we’re not so smart after all, because this process of perfecting has come at the expense of the Earth, endangering this planet and its inhabitants for the purpose of profiting.
Today is Earth Day. A day when, globally, we are all supposed to take stock of our impact on the world and try to minimise that impact. There is a lot of significance in this Earth Day – a ‘world-day’ concept that has been around since the 1970s – and I would encourage everyone to do what they can to contribute to the active awareness and practice of environmentally beneficial behaviour.
But I would also encourage everyone to consider every single day as Earth Day. I feel that we must all realise that we are not individual people or individual countries whose actions affect only ourselves. This is together our joint responsibility. If the Earth can no longer sustain us, then it does not matter who we are and where we come from. No one will survive if the Earth does not.
Personally, I try to do my bit – I am conscious of my consumption behaviour, I am a vegetarian, I try to live ‘green’… but I know I could do more. We could all do more.
Every day should be considered Earth Day because we must treat the Earth as a mother. Because that is what the Earth is, and we are suffocating our mother. From her we get produce, trees, plants, air to survive, water, fire. We have to see it like that. See it as a whole. We all depend on Mother Earth to survive, and if we don’t realise how dependent we are on ‘her’ – despite all our technological advancements – we’re simply not going to survive. We will lose Mother Earth as our home.
Our resources are depleting. And we are all part of the cause. We can also be part of the solution. We must make a collective, cohesive effort to do something about it. We must not think of ourselves as country versus country, or person versus person, but rather as one unit that survives on one thing for our very survival: the Earth.
Perhaps the enormity of the consequences are simply too unfathomable for us to actually grasp the reality of the situation. Perhaps we simply cannot comprehend how desperate the situation is. I am not a doom-and-gloom person, but this is the reality: we are suffocating the very thing that allows us to breathe. Awareness campaigns such as Earth Day and the recent Earth Hour, are important in that they are hopefully helping to drive home the comprehension that we must do something. It starts with all of us and it is up to all of us.
The Earth is our temporary home and the home of our future generations. Let’s treat it with the care and importance it deserves.
Group Managing Director