I'm having a "bigger picture" day.
After receiving news yesterday about the US Supreme Court's decision to overturn the gun ban in Washington DC, saying that individuals have a right to lawfully use handguns, I couldn't help but to skip the thought processes I would normally have around legislative news like this. Normally, I would pour over articles from reputable sources (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7474924.stm), consider the legality and morality of such decisions, engage friends in discussion, and try to make sense of why such a thing would be happening at such a time and what it would mean for me, my country, and ultimately, this planet.
I glossed over that process this time to come to a quick decision – that this is a distraction. Instantly I was thinking of global food scarcity, and visualizing people in Haiti eating mudcakes for sustenance. I saw a large boat trapped in a typhoon in the Philippines, and imagined the tearful families of those lost in the tragedy. I smelled the smoky air just outside my office building, and thought of the properties, livelihoods, and beautiful old trees being lost in the devastating fires in Northern California. I just couldn't see an immediate need to focus on guns in DC. Or perhaps I could not deal with realizing the energy expended on this, when someone close to me has just recently lost a loved one to gun violence.
Today, a friend passed on an article (www.commondreams.org/views03/0719-02.htm) that outlined why, in all likelihood, the planet's bananas will go extinct within the next 10 years. I was devastated, not because I love bananas – in fact, I rarely eat them, as I've moved towards eating mostly local foods – but rather because I was swept up in the hopeless thought that perhaps no human would be around to enjoy them anyway.
If you are reading this, it's likely I needn't waste words painting a grim picture for you of our severe climate crisis on this planet, and the shortsightedness in greedily using up our limited resources. Instead, I want to ask for your help. It is the 11th hour. It is the time when we no longer have the option to ignore what is happening, when none of us can choose to abandon ship.
At Green For All, we know that we are best equipped to be a part of the solution by building, with the help of our allies and partners, an inclusive green economy that is strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Whatever your calling is, I ask of you today what I ask of myself every day. To look deep within yourself and utilize your unique strength and clarity to be a part of the solution. Whether it's riding your bicycle or working with youth or asking your representatives to support green initiatives and help create healthy and just communities . . . whatever it is that you feel called to do, now is the time. And to all of you countless people and organizations that have devoted yourselves to these causes and more, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I know that I am not alone, and that together we can do this.
Here's to communities and a planet that are green, clean, just, and sustainable for ALL.