I have been reading a novel, The Overstory, by Richard Powers and the subject matter is close to my heart being all about trees... their importance for the planet and therefore the continuing existence of Homo Sapiens Sapiens (not just ‘wise’ man but wise man who knows he is wise!)
Some of us are lucky enough to feel and to know that we are all connected ...not only with each other and all other creatures... but with everything in the entire Universe. Not everyone on the planet gets that though, so it’s not surprising that at this crucial time in the history of our planet, when so many people are holding up their hands in despair that climate change recommendations are not being adhered to, others simply wish to carry on as they were, either disbelieving the claims of scientists or shrugging their shoulders. The vast majority of humans want to live their lives in what they consider to be the optimum way for themselves and their dependants.
I am writing this in Thailand where I am overjoyed to still be able to see vast areas of carbon dioxide absorbing jungle which are so incredibly beautiful. Nevertheless, I have observed that even in our immediate locality, areas of land have been and are being cleared in order to build new affordable homes whilst not far away there are large numbers of buildings which are totally unoccupied, condominiums and individual houses, where developers have run out of money to complete. It seems ridiculous and there appears to be no legislation in place to alter this. People wanting the best for themselves and their families regardless of the cost to the planet.
And I hold my hand up here too since we have travelled thousands of miles by air to meet our granddaughter. I was not prepared to forego that meeting in order to save the planet. Here is the dilemma: humanity has continued to progress at such a rate over the last two or three hundred years, through industrial and technological revolutions, and we have all adapted to the newer ways of living so that now it seems almost impossible to turn back the clock and ignore the changes.
I read a very interesting article recently which summarised Thich Nhat Hanh’s views on climate change and the destruction of the planet. In that article he says, “When they see the truth it is too late to act… but they don’t want to wake up because it may make them suffer. They cannot confront the truth. It is not that they don’t know what is going to happen. They just don’t want to think about it.”
Then the article continues to outline Thay’s vision for a solution, which seems to make a good deal of sense to me, “They want to get busy in order to forget." We should not talk in terms of what they should do, what they should not do, for the sake of the future. We should talk to them in such a way that touches their hearts, that helps them to engage on the path that will bring them true happiness; the path of love and understanding, the courage to let go. When they have tasted a little bit of peace and love, they may wake up.”
It is a work in progress learning to truly and deeply love ourselves so that we genuinely feel compassion for others, for all creatures and for the planet. But it is very important work. For me personally I have always found that connection takes place so naturally in Nature, sitting under a tree, watching the sun set, listening to a babbling brook, etc, etc... for it is in Nature that we can experience our interconnections too.