Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Resist and survive.....

In that hot summer of 1976, whilst sitting in the parched lawn in our drought ridden garden, my mum, presumably whilst talking about the drought to a very concerned 6 year old, said to me, "you'll be alive when the oil runs out" and since that moment I have lived my life exploring that statement and what it's effect would be, on both people and planet.
Of course with the technology we now have it's unlikely I will see a world without oil, but it's a moment I've almost wanted to see, and sitting here today I'm beginning to make sense of why.
Frugality has always been my middle name. I've never wanted "stuff" particularly, and even if I do covet gardening tools and plants, I've always found joy in recovering old tools and of course, growing plants from seed or cuttings. A roof over my head, warmth, food and an allotment are my needs and I've progressively found it harder and harder to see the need for much else. Of course that's not to say I refuse gifts or never buy anything, but I'm clear about my ethics and stick to them rather than just purchasing mindless stuff. Over the last few years, setting up an organisation voluntarily this has been useful to say the least!!
But back to the point of this post. 
"You'll be alive when the oil runs out" has never been a statement to me, but more a call to peaceful arms, to look for an alternative way and playing a part in mending the earth from the scarring of industrialisation and humans ongoing need for things whatever the environmental price. To stand up for the planet  above anything else and to work to a different way of being.
Why are you telling us this I hear you say? 
Well I think we're at a point in history where we are on a cusp, a precipice if you like, and we have choices and we have voices. We can follow the Trump/May/scarily right wing and immensely corporate agenda of growth no matter what, or we can ignore it and follow another way.

This weekend we have seen the coming together of American tribes at Standing Rock win the first of what will be several battles in the war against an oil pipe going through their sacred lands and below the River Missouri. The battle was won by the bringing together of tribes, mostly of native American decent, but eventually bringing in a new tribe, the American veterans, to the battle. 
To me this gives hope and a really strong message. To move our world forwards in a new way we need to accept that we are all tribes and that to create change those tribes must come together, talk and share their connections, discuss their differences and find a way for mutual respect based on positives, instead of negatives. We must stop being hatefilled, and refuse to listen to that rhetoric, and instead make our own media, our own stories, based on kindness and positivity.
And then I hear someone ask, "but why should we?", and here's my reply.
We recognise that we live in a hate fuelled world. We know the media spin everything to their own agenda. We now understand austerity is caused by the elite few looking after their own rather than everyone. It's easy to get angry, sad and depressed even. 
But that achieves nothing. Changes nothing.
If you turn that anger on its head, subscribe to the idea that a million small actions can turn into a mighty movement for change, and begin to make some small but significant changes in your life and in the lives of those around you, across the world change will be inevitable and people will once again take back control for their own lives.
If you then bring that to friends, family and community, joining those tribes through positive actions, change will begin to spread, like wildfire, at grassroots level, everywhere. 
And why? Well I want a better future for my kids and their kids, but not just a better one. 
A kinder future. A future where success is measured in health and well being as much as wealth. 
A braver, kinder world.