As I said in my last blog we need to see connections and then be connected. Just to mention (again) all those worrying and distressing items that we watch on the news or read about in the papers, and which are now so familiar to us: climate breakdown disasters, famines, wars, failed states, huge amounts of money spent on weapons including weapons of mass destruction, bad government, corruption, refugees and people trafficking – and I am only making a selection. Obviously these all belong together. Start at any point in this list and your journey is likely to take you on a pathway that visits the other items. Climate breakdown leads to food shortages, which lead to conflict and refugees and bad government and so on.
But those who oppose these things also belong together. If you put together the people who, at different times and in different ways, have felt they wanted to react to these conditions, we would have a mighty army. Sadly, it doesn’t seem to work quite like that. It appears that, at the moment, many individuals have not even seen the possibility of linking with others; similarly, many small organisations, while doing a great job, are scarcely talking to each other.
I used to work at an international school in India. Most of the staff were expatriates like me. On the wall of the staff room there was a picture of a sailing ship and under it the comment: ‘We may have all come in different ships, but we’re in the same boat now’ (a quote incidentally from Martin Luther King). It was so true. It was no use pretending that there was another ship that we could go to, or that the crew of the ship was likely to change in a hurry. No, we were stuck with what we had got and had to get on with it.
What we had to do was to work better together. This applies to many life situations – a school staff room, an office, a rugby club, a hospital ward. It also applies more widely. Our neighbourhood, our city, our nation: it’s what we’ve got and who we have, and working better together will always help. In the end it applies to our world. I suppose one day some of us might live on Mars (not a happy thought!) but for the time being this planet is our home. We are going to have to do better at looking after it together.