Learning from the past?
“Our earth is wounded. Her oceans and lakes are sick; her rivers are like running sores; the air is filled with subtle poisons. And the oily smoke of countless hellish fires blackens the sun. Men and women, scattered from homeland, family, friends, wander desolate and uncertain, scorched by a toxic sun…
In this desert of frightened, blind uncertainty, some take refuge in the pursuit of power. Some become manipulators of illusion and deceit.
If wisdom and harmony still dwell in this world, as other than a dream lost in an unopened book, they are hidden in our heartbeat.
And it is from our hearts that we cry out. We cry out and our voices are the single voice of this wounded earth. Our cries are a great wind across the earth.”
: The Warrior Song of King Gezar – modern writing of 12th century Central Asian epic.
Strange eh? Perhaps it’s the ‘re-writing’, but from across the centuries the message seems unchanged. How many times are we doomed to repeat the same tragic acts? Is it the curse of humanity or just a refusal to move from blind ignorance that lets us continue to re-enact the mistakes of the past.
We have been given thousands of examples in politics, production and the protection of our environment on how not to do things. As they say, you can’t expect a different result if you keep doing the same thing.
In Will Watson’s yet to be released doco “War with No Guns” he looks at the NZ led peace force that went into Bouganville, near Papua New Guinea. An island nation rocked with civil war after the Rothschild copper mine brought in mercenaries when the people protested at the large-scale poisoning of their land.
The NZ Brigadier copped a lot of flak(‘scuse the pun) for taking his troops into a war zone armed only with guitars and the Maori Concert Party, but brokered a peace that has lasted and is still celebrated 15 years later.
There are different ways of doing things.
Greg Mortenson has been building schools thru Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan with the focus of educating children, particularly girls and with the support of ‘Warlords’ and the Heads of Islam at it’s highest level. Ignorance is a weapon of mass destruction. Education is the primary solution to long term security and the environmental issues of our planet. There are different ways of doing things.
The people of Cabo Pulmo moved from commercial fishing and a dying reef to conservation and eco-tourism with outstanding success. Tonga stopped hunting humpbacks and now each living whale brings the country a million dollars a year, Fiji is farming coral and rebuilding reefs that are a food source and tourist attraction.
Peace for people and the planet will come hand in hand.
Our biggest mission in environmental terms is to educate the different populations around the world about the real impact of our lifestyles, the products we use, the way we fish, travel, dispose of waste. At the same time educate them in alternatives. And do it fast.
You can fulfill that role in your own community. Being a leader and teacher by example is the easiest thing to do. Make some changes in your own life and those around you will start to think too.
There are amazing things going on all over the world. They’re not all big and grandiose, but they’re all making a difference.