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"We need to show love and compassion to our neighbours, our friends, our environment and ourselves. We need to start seeing us as a part of a greater picture, not as separate beings drifting around aimlessly. We are all connected because we share the most important thing in common: life. We are all alive, thanks to the Earth. We exist, just because. "
I’m having a bit of a crisis of identity of sorts. I am noticing that I am being very selective about what I share on this blog and censor some parts of me. But I don’t think I can do that censoring anymore. I am passionate about this planet that we all share and call home but I have this resistance to sharing this passion because of the negative connotations that come with being an environmental and social activist. The words “Greenie” and “Hippy” have been marketed in such a way that they have a negative undertone, but I hardly think someone who cares about caring for this biosphere that we call home should be viewed negatively.
I grew up in Tasmania, where the divide between the Loggers and the Environmentalists is a tangible entity that was fed by the media and provided regular fodder for the news outlets (It also helped that the timber company paid for a significant portion of the newspaper’s advertising budget). The Green groups were considered to be ‘scum’, ‘unemployed’ and the media ran with that, it polarised the community. I have friends who have tied themselves to bridges and buildings in order to stop developments that are not in keeping with the community, the environment and they were labelled as a nuisance, instead of being labelled as people who passionately believe in what they are standing for.
When did we stop valuing critical thinking? When did we stop valuing passion for this planet and all life on it? This planet is a miracle. It is amazing. Life exists. You exist. Plants exist and breathe our life into us which we return to them. Animals exist and provide and incredible diversity of life, he oceans, rivers, mountains, desert…beautiful, amazing, incredible. Wow! Just wow, I am in awe of the wonder that life…well, is. When did we lose our connection to the things that sustain us? Am I the only one that sees the wonder that life is?
My mother taught me to see things in miniature. She is an avid photographer and is amazing at up-close pictures of flowers. We used to joke about her obsession with the miniature, but I can see now what a gift that was, she taught us to look at the fine details. My father taught me to see the big picture, he loves David Attenborough documentaries and has passed that love on to us, he is widely read and in many ways he showed me the world. It’s taken a long time, but I am so very grateful for their contribution to my life, to my values, to who I am.
And, I am an activist; for social justice, for the environment, for all life. I am for a sustainable planet where life is valued over money and possessions, where honesty and passion is valued over control and greed, where every living and non-living natural thing is valued, just as it is and not raped, degraded or treated as a commodity. I don’t think that I’m alone. But we are not a silent minority. We will not stand by and watch our ecosystem get destroyed by corporate greed. We are all powerful. We demand a healthy, diverse and sustainable planet. We will get it. I am a hippy, an environmentalist, an advocate for social justice. I am not afraid to say that I WILL talk about things that matter. I will stand up for what I believe to be important and what is more important than air, water, food, sustainable homes and love?
They are our basic human needs. When we start losing the things that sustain life, what is the point of existing? It’s like when you injure yourself, or have a health problem, you realise how very important that thumb/foot/knee/lung is. And so it is with the Earth, when we start to lose our clean air, water, healthy food and soils and start killing each other indiscriminately, we realise how we are injured, that we cannot thrive in this environment, we are merely surviving.
It really isn’t about an us versus them, we are all in this together. We need to show love and compassion to our neighbours, our friends, our environment and ourselves. We need to start seeing us as a part of a greater picture, not as separate beings drifting around aimlessly. We are all connected because we share the most important thing in common: life. We are all alive, thanks to the Earth. We exist, just because. Why would we destroy that? Why would we destroy ourselves? When what we all are is a miracle that exists, just because.
As the activist Martin Luther-King said: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” I will not be silent. I will not stop standing up for things that matter because all life matters. You matter.
In love and compassion,
©Alyssa Curtayne 2015
All images, videos, products and texts Copyright ©Alyssa Curtayne 2014-2017