COVID-19 Is An Opportunity!
Well, I'm sure you would take precautions if you knew some weather catastrophe was heading your way, so why do we not take the necessary action concerning the big issues that are facing man's collective home, Mother Earth?
Let's look at a diagram derived from this link:
This chart is based on 2018 figures.
How much more do we need to be told to know that we're overdoing it? Even this household (2 people), that consumes very little livestock (1 person is even vegetarian), uses the car very little and uses electricity that is 100% green, is overusing the Earth's resources according to the link I've provided above!
And yet, even amidst the COVID crisis, people thought that it was imperative to get away, abroad somewhere, for a sun-tanned break. Why? Partly because the government felt pressured to get the economy working to bring in needed cash. The government, of course, is committed to strengthening an outdated economic system, so it has to behave in a schizophrenic fashion - firstly saying that we are highly committed to dealing with ecological and climate issues, and then immediately switching to the panic button to keep things going.
The fact is, of course, that until there is a total commitment to an economic system that is geared to a Limits to Growth policy, and one that is friendly to all the world's inhabitants - human and otherwise - we shall remain in a schizophrenic state.
Nearly 60 years ago, Robert Kennedy said:
Too much and for too long, we seemed to have surrendered personal excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things ... the gross national product [GNP, or GDP] does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.For a start, we need an educational system that implants the idea in the minds of children that 'Wisdom is Good': that only by careful stewardship of nature's bounty and by the active appreciation and fostering of nature itself in all its forms, can mankind hope to survive. It starts with the individual, what happens in the home and then the community and then its influence on the nation and the world, in turn.
By that process we should end up with leaders that we can trust - so long as they are honestly committed to the same principles. When that occurs, we might be able to trust our political leaders.
But there is one thing more. It is dubious that these things can effectively occur unless we realise that our existence is due to our Maker, who made us in His Image. He gave us the personal equipment to behave with wisdom and intelligence, yet so far we have mainly 'blown it'. Yet the Creator is so patient. He sympathetically looks upon us, his children, playing with the toys that we believe are ours, and waits for our change of heart. He even sends messengers time and again to influence us to think again and abide by the message of good stewardship with which we are entrusted, but we sometimes kill those messengers.
And then the priests came along and created their own ideas of how things are supposed to be based on a vague idea of what the messengers were trying to say in the first place. And the people follow. Well, not many of today's inhabitants may follow the priests in temples and churches any longer, but instead follow the priesthood of science, or of the commercial world. It's all the same thing - we somehow prefer to listen to our own version of wisdom and scientists, media people and business moguls have simply replaced the priests of former times.
And then disasters start; then Mother Earth, being the sensitive form of creation that She is, objects in the form of earthquakes, forest fires and great storms. Even diseases of increasing strength.
When - just when - are we going to realise that this is the case? Instead - even amid rampant disease and other catastrophes - we seem to think that our own personal interests are more important - even the Black Lives Matter movement. Since when did black people suffer more than many other groups in the world, who remain uncared for? All people should be cared for, not a single colour or creed. And animals too - they are particularly maltreated.
There have been movements created to bring justice to a community, and one such has been the very extreme ISIS movement, saying that Muslims should follow the call for jihad, usually meaning (in their parlance) the slaughter of those they disagree with. But they seem not to know that it was a great Islamic theologian and later mystic - Al Ghazzali - who said that Muslims should first...
Declare your jihad on [twelve] enemies you cannot see - Egoism, Arrogance, Conceit, Selfishness, Greed, Lust, Intolerance, Anger, Lying, Cheating, Gossiping and Slandering. If you can master and destroy these, then you will be ready to fight the enemy you can see.
In fact, my interpretation of what ISIS should stand for is Integrity, Spirituality, Ideals and Sustainability. These are issues that the Prophet Muhammed stood for. That is the real Islam - in a Muslim's 'submission to Allah' he is obliged to stand for these virtues knowing that Allah is 'closer to him than the jugular vein' and therefore knows what the Muslim does.
The real Islam could be quite easily found in the Middle Ages, when, amidst the violence of the Crusades, the Knights Templar found their equivalent amongst the wise of Islam. What the Knights Templar brought back with them was an insight into such wisdom that was passed on and is still present with us today, though usually stylised and formalised. And mainly hidden from view.
So, we have this civilisation that we have built up with our own hands. Its material achievements are unmatched in recorded history, and yet it is a civilisation where we have failed to complement our material progress with moral—and, by implication, spiritual—progress. We are in the process of conquering outer space whilst forgetting and deserting our inner space. And, because we have failed to strike this balance, the whole edifice is trembling uncontrollably before our very eyes, as evidenced in even the everyday media. The building, shaken by an earthquake, threatens to disintegrate.
It is no use to lament when a man goes into a school and butchers a bunch of innocent children, nor does it make sense to brand the act as evil and let it go at that. What we witness today is the plaster falling from the ceiling.
In thirty years we have regressed; aided by what is now commonly shown on TV channels and the media in general, violence has spread from the United States to Europe and Japan until there's no safe place left. What is needed is a solution - in fact, a panacea. We need a sound methodology that can be practised by everyone. If everyone were to take care and sweep his doorstep, a whole city will become spic and span.
Unfortunately, COVID-19 is, we have to accept, a form of retribution delivered to the world by the poor quality of thinking that now permeates many institutions, chiefly in the most powerful countries. The situation can only be dealt with by changing ourselves in what we stand for and in our habits. It is an opportunity to look again - to look within and ask who we really are and whether we are prepared to put up with the situation. Should we find the true answer then we can deal with anything, properly and sustainably.
I share the view of Harold Pinter, the author who received a Nobel Prize in 2005 and who then said:
I believe that despite the enormous odds which exist, unflinching, unswerving, fierce intellectual determination, as citizens, to define the real truth of our lives and our societies is a crucial obligation which devolves upon us all. - It is in fact mandatory.
My case rests, but this is not really my case - it is a summary of the case as put forward by God's messengers. The message is that we are the makers of our own destiny: we choose whatever happens. Therefore it is up to us to to find - through compassion - the solution.
Our children need us to find this basis for future living.
Please pass this link on to 10 others and ask each of them to pass it on to 10 more.
Thank you for reading this, and here are some UK facts to finish with from this site: