Can you see beauty where others perceive there to be none? Can you see potential or opportunity where others deem very little to be available? In a world fixated on the new, on keeping up with trends and fashion fads, on keeping to the familiar and the known, are you willing and comfortably able to step off the road most trodden by the masses and follow after that which others deem of little value, of little consequence, of little worth? Are you prepared to be a change-bearer?
In a world where we are told on one hand how environmentally friendly it is to recycle and repurpose, in a world where we are repeatedly told to be very careful and mindful of our consumption and use of resources, how many of us really actively engage in such practices?
It's a highly sensitive question, and one too many could well take offense at being pointedly asked to personally better consider. Yet for a minute, let's gently yet directly explore it:
In a world where we are repeatedly told about how we are potentially on the brink of a huge ecological disaster, how many of us are honestly putting the theory around being more earth-friendly into literal and repetitive daily practice?
How many of us are really doing our individual bit to see beauty, to see potential, to see opportunity again and again, from what is already within our own immediate household circle and life experience?
You put out a collection of recyclables for your local Council to collect? Go you! Yet let's give it some sincere and serious consideration for a minute from both a sustainable living perspective AND a financial perspective: what in that bin could you have personally consciously chosen to hold on to and used again, within your very own household?
You do your bit to shop from your local supermarket and other close-at-hand local stores, yet how much of what you are buying could you potentially grow, or make, or even acquire from a pre-loved local source, instead of buying brand new, or in that highly processed or highly packaged form?
These are questions too few really bother to seek constructive, productive and innovative answers to. The buck is past and others are instead deemed to be the ones who should seek them instead.
How many of us really and truly step up and are willing to be the change bearers? How many of us are honestly willing to be the ones who see things differently, and who actively make the most of that which others choose not to see or value?
Sadly, too few are keen to be change-bearers, and instead just simply lay it at the feet of everyone else on the very same planet.
Too often I hear fellow people of faith professing they are waiting for the Messiah to return and for Him to come and fix all that is wrong here on Planet Earth................. and yet, what if WE are in fact the very ones He was hoping would each (yes, each of us!) get on with addressing and making the differences needed here on Planet Earth?
Far too few people are keen to be the difference needed. Far too few are prepared to be change-bearers, and far too many are happy to remain as ignorant as they possibly can, of the very mess they themselves contribute to and have unwittingly created.
The Earth is dangerously polluted? The sea full of plastic? The land lacking in minerals and nutrients?
It's your fault, not mine............. I had nothing to do with it!
Mmmmmmmmmm........really? Are you truly sure, as a consumer and inhabitant of Planet Earth that you had nothing whatsoever to do with the disaster that is step by step unfolding?
Are you truly certain your habits and practices have little to no effect at all?
Every single human inhabitant are guilty of not seeing fully how their personal practices and habits effect life on Planet Earth. The greater number of us have all lost touch with nature and what would be best for not only the environment but our own immediate household. We have become very divorced from the cycles of nature that keep things in balance and keep things healthy. We have contributed piece by piece to that which now exists around us.....the question is this:
What will you personally choose to do right now to be a change-bearer and activate the change needed and keep it mindfully part and parcel of what you do going forward?
Can you see beauty? Can you see potential and opportunity? Can you choose to be a change-bearer this very day, this very hour?
It is a sensitive pondering. It is sensitive, and yet it has to be acknowledged, because the scales are beginning to well and truly fall off our eyes collectively about the state of both the environment, our use and abuse of natural resources, and the overall imbalanced state of human society and its practices; whether we want to have it happen or not.
We have to do things differently as individual households, for the sake of the earth and life on it, because it is paramountly necessary. NOW.
Planet Earth and the ability for us all to experience quality of life on it....................... we need to commit as individual households to readily change our viewpoints and actively change our practices.
The ability to feed, to shelter, to provide? We all need to look at things differently and literally start doing things majorally differently, because what we hoped wouldn't happen on an environmental scale has already arrived. It is here. It is present, it is NOW.
Recently, there has been much talk about drought conditions, about water supply and water quality, and there being significant regional water shortages, particularly in the Auckland Region here in Aotearoa New Zealand. The anticipated lack of rain that was clearly forecast as being of concern for the end of 2020 and the start of 2021 did indeed arrive, and it is now biting and it is hurting a good number of folk, particularly Auckland based folk, over these current hot summer months.
Yet there were still people, (good people, by all accounts highly intelligent and polite people), who still went ahead and habitually filled their Auckland City based private backyard swimming pools with tens of thousands of litres of water before the anticipated summer water rush late last year.... Why?
Why, would they do that, even though collectively across the Auckland Region it was clearly marketed that it would be a very dry summer? Why would they choose to do that when it was clearly spelt out as being a summer which would require careful and considerate water consumption to be carried out by not only individuals, but collective private households and citywide workplaces?
Why? Because they could afford it, and it has become a non-thinking thought through habit.
Why? Because for some it has become an act of seasonal time-marking that they have access to their very own private swimming pool. For them, it is deemed a rite of summer, a rite and a right to have their very own private swimming pool, with literally thousands and thousands of litres of water ready to splash around in it.
Why? Because there are those that wanted it, that could afford it, so they chose to deem it logical to possess and therefore have it. There are those who could fork out the associated monies and they wanted that backyard swimming pool available and readily onhand regardless of it being declared and marketed across the Auckland region that this summer, the summer of 2020/2021, would be yet another significantly drought filled, limited rainfall summer in the Auckland region.
In a world where we are told to do our bit for the greater good, for the care of the Earth and its resources, there are still those that choose to get what they can............... and if it can be bought and paid for with great wads of cash or credit, they will make sure they acquire it regardless. It's human nature and it's sadly human nature not always operating at it's best.
Some just choose not to see beauty, potential or opportunity where a select few clearly can. Some just choose to have what they want, when and where they want it, and they will pay whatever is required to make sure it most certainly becomes theirs.
Swimming in a local river? Swimming at a local beach or local public swimming pool? Perhaps it was deemed far too inconvenient a choice or didn't sit well with their version of a fashionable kiwi summer in the backyard garden.
Regardless of what was clearly foretold, those private backyard swimming pools were deemed by some to still be an absolute, non-negotiable must for the summer. Those folk with the monies to have it, got it, and so they blissfully swim and splash in that which others in the very same region can only hope arrives soon................ copious, bountiful water; which is currently very much in short supply for others on the drinking, washing and irrigation front.
Those not willing to see a private backyard swimming pool as being of great necessity, could well be deemed simply envious or jealous of those priveleged enough to arrange it's conception............... It all depends which side of the backyard swimming pool fence you stand most firmly rooted on clearly.
It's interesting how money and access to it, can change viewpoints and short term experiences. Yet, the collective and overall outcome still remains the same: the Auckland Region has had a water shortage yet again these past several months of summer. There are those wistfully looking skyward wanting rain to come, because they are concerned about having drinking water in the coming weeks. There are those stopping washing machines mid-cycle, to top up the toilet cistern, in order to make their water consumption stretch that bit further. It is a summer of diverse responses, for what still is a common and collective concern for a good many.
Seeing beauty, potential and opportunity in places where others do not see it or find it? It is a fine art and one that few people master. Too many are blind and deaf still to the need for individual households to embrace changes that would heal the Earth and prevent depletion of essential resources. Too few are yet to realise that quality drinking water and nutritious food come literally from somewhere other than a supermarket shelf and a water tanker.
The connection between nature and humankind has become so fractured, that it is deemed normal to think that if you want it and you can pay for it, it should just automatically always turn up. We have illogically made that which keeps us healthy and alive of little significance, when it comes to our literal existence and our actual quality of life.
Whilst we had panic buying happening rife across the nation and the world during the first wave of Pandemic Lockdown in 2020, there were still those that refused to pick up a spade, a hand trowel, and plant out a garden of edibles where they potentially could. It was perhaps deemed too much effort and not worthwhile, and yet it was often those very same people who stressed about the availability of food and wondered about it's ongoing security. There are those sadly who will never see potential, never see opportunity, and instead, they only ever choose to see perceived obstacles around whether they have enough space, enough skill, enough time, knowledge, or physical ability or even strength to be a change-bearer and literally help themselves and also Planet Earth. It really is very sad.
The convenience of pushing a trolley around a supermarket retains it's hold over multiple minds. Frustration and anger continue to circle amongst those who feel let down by the food supply system that in their view fails to meet their basic human right to be fed and to feed.
When flour and sugar (and toilet paper!) once again prove to be in short supply on gleaming commercial shelves due to the next round of panic buying that will surely turn up at some point in time, there will still be those who claim to see no other potential or alternative to help themselves, their households, their communities................ they just won't and don't see it.
Can you see beauty? Can you see potential and opportunity? It is quite an art. One well worth mastering.
Perhaps those Auckland dwellers and others who filled their swimming pools this past summer can lead the way for change within their region. Investing in buying and planting a potential canopy of tens of thousands of raining calling trees, instead of just habitually filling a private backyard pool with tens of thousands of litres of water? Imagine how climate changing that potential choice and opportunity for instigating change would be!
Can you see beauty? Can you see potential and even opportunity? It's there for those willing to see it.