In the news today:
How fans reacted to Zayn’s One Direction exit?
Who could replace Jeremy Clarkson on Top Gear?
How to drop 100 calories a day without even trying?
Who won the interview contest on social media?
The last one is about the run up to the 2015 elections. If you notice, it’s not about which matters we need to focus on, but WHO you like the most…
What else should you care about in the news stream today? How will it affect you? How will the actions of people today affect you tomorrow, three months from now, five years, twenty?
How about one hundered and fourty years? How will your actions, and those of people around you, affect the reality of people that you will never have a chance to meet in your lifetime? Should you even care?
The butterfly effect says that the movement of air caused by the flapping wings of a butterfly on one hemisphere can be the start of a hurricane on the other. We don’t live in isolation, neither in space, nor time. We are all part of the biosphere.
When Chernobyl was on the news, I was five years old. It was April, so me and my friends from the neighbourhood were playing outside everyday. One morning, we all met at the local GP, and were given a drink of a red, translucent fluid. Only the children – our parents didn’t have to drink it. It was in a tiny plastic cup, and was bitter. I wasn’t allowed to eat anything for an hour afterwards, and my mom gave in to my pleas for a tasty chocolate waffle fourty five minutes later. Finally the aftertaste was gone and my tummy stopped rumbling. I could go back to playing again.
That catastrophy is still with us, and the results are seen throughout the area.
In 2011 Fukushima was briefly on the news, but it’s not there anymore. The problem is still there, and it’s getting worse.
The nuclear arms race is gaining momentum again, with Iran joining the ranks. Even if their capability is miniscule compared to those of the USA, Russia and other forces, let’s not forget what one bomb did in Hiroshima (or Nagasaki). Let’s also not forget how many bombs have been tested. The radiation is still there.
We live on this amazing planet. Everywhere you turn there is something to make us wonder. Whether you believe that this is god’s creation, or it all happened by chance, we can all be thankful for this gift of a home, and of the experience of life itself.
There is a cycle of renewal: of birth, and of death. As much as we cling to this gift of life with our knowledge, our science, and even strong will, we will all leave it one day, and our children will come into our space, in their time. Our lives, what we do now will have an impact on their reality. It may feel insignificant. You may feel that your actions won’t make a dent in this vast universe. How could they, right?
They do. We are part of the biosphere, and we are a wave in the birth-death cycle. It’s not about our lives. What we do today affects the future of those who come after us. Our lives only gain meaning in the context of what we leave for them. My iPhone, or my nuclear warhead, or my tuna with cheese and noodles are here today, but do they affect me only, or my daughter?
The Pacific ocean is poisoned with radiation from Fukushima, it’s tuna population is unable to recover from commercial fishing. The surface is covered with plastic; suffocating life underneath. We could go on listing everything that is wrong. Every day we could get depressed with a new discovery of another crime towards nature or fellow human beings.
We can be quite horrible, that’s what the news tells us every day, but equally we can be a force for good. We could (and should) spend the next one hundered years building a new world – creating ecosystems that support us and other species. Developing technologies that allow us and others to thrive. Our lives can have a meaning in building a future for those who we would never have a chance to meet – the members of the seventh generation. Each one of us, would make a mark, as a good ancestor.
You are a member of the smartest species on the planet, and you have the ability to love. Don’t be afraid. You can use this force in endless amounts – you will never run out of it.