We humans - all the same in so many ways but so crucially, all different too. Uniquely different, which, as a species, is our secret weapon to being so disastrously successful.
Though our needs are few to survive, you would not draw that conclusion if you looked in the average western home, mine included. We have filled our lives with so much dross that we don't really need and half the time, don't even want.
It is as if, we have lost the art of living a good life, of noticing the natural things that happen all around us. We seem blind to the magic of what is so wonderful and essential to our souls and consumed with the stuff that is actually so trivial and unimportant.
If I were a pessimist - I would say unequivocably; the world will be much better off without humans - the sooner we die off, the better. No one could argue with that statement as a fact because it is true. There is not anything in our world that is better because we are here.
We, humans, tread heavily upon our world. Our imprints are deep, and our touch is not gentle; it has become positively toxic and harmful.
But we are here, and we do have a choice. We always have a choice. We, as a species, have wrecked or are wrecking so many environments. From oceans to forests, from flood plains to mountains, we still have not understood the damage we are doing or the utter carnage we are bringing to so many other species with which we share this earth.
I was lying in an overly-heated ward in hospital, - must be about three years ago now and it was the wee small hours of the morning. The guy in the bed opposite me started crying and muttering to himself and then saw I was awake and watching him.
He asked me if I smoked. I replied no, but feeling I should be honest, added that I had smoked, but I had stopped roughly twenty years ago. He then told me how clever I was for stopping and lamented his oncoming death which he felt would be very soon. He had been smoking up until a week ago, even though suffering from emphysema. He was full of remorse and wished he had taken a different decision a long time ago.
We could not really chat because he was so distressed, and at that moment, a doctor came in and discharged me. It was the middle of the night and, with much relief, I made my way home. I had had this brief encounter with a man, and I never learned his name, but I enquired the next day and was told he had died soon after I had left.
You, will, of course, know where I am going with this. We can still make change happen; that opportunity is still open to us - just. But you have only to look beyond the surface of daily news to understand the devastation that is going on in our world - in front of our very eyes - every minute of every day. But we are so desensitised to this that we don't see it. There will be a day when it is too late. That day might already have come, but we are told by the scientific community that there is still time, if we act now.
We are in such desperate need of robust and insightful leadership. This is the most important subject and should be at the top of every leader's agenda as well as every person who appoints or votes for leaders. None of us can do this alone, but we could all do it together. You don't have to be a Cassandra to see this or believe it.
Pretending the problem doesn't exist; - burying our head in the sand will not get the job done. As Sir Winston Churchill used to put to urgent and important challenges: - "Action This Day."
Let us all demand from each other and our leaders - and even if you don't care about our natural world - for the sake of humanity - Action This Day!
Rick - Suffolk - UK - 2nd January - 2021