Home Sweet Home
Home sweet home.
Close your eyes. Imagine this: someone you know has been given the most palatial, the most incredibly beautiful house. For free. No strings attached. From this point forward, that will be the person’s home.
Imagine people tearing down this house piece by piece, treating the house simultaneously as a personal bank machine and a dumping ground; staking claim to it for profit and greed.
Imagine it was your house. What would you do?
Let me rather put the question a different way: what ARE you doing about it?
As an activist, I am subjected daily to images and stories of degradation, brutality, selfishness, destruction, greed, suffering and ugliness. I watch helplessly as the only home I know is pulled apart, the inhabitants butchered and exploited. I do what I can to stop this from happening, but the sheer force of these actions leave me overwhelmed and impotent. I look on in horror and shame as my species buy in to their own arrogance to such an extent that they do not heed the power of nature. Acres upon acres of forests housing trees a thousand years in age are cut down. Tons and tons of trash enter our oceans daily. Heaps and heaps of unhealthy, dirty air fill our children’s lungs every second of every day. Yet when our home fights back with devastating results, we react in shock, wailing as we lament our lot. Yet, when everything is cleaned up, we conveniently forget that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Life carries on as normal. Until the next devastation. We fail to heed to get the message.
I try and counter all of this by surrounding myself with images of staggering beauty. When I open my front door in the morning as I go to work and I see the mountains, I want to fall down on my knees in gratitude. Sitting on the beach, looking out on to the endless horizon of the ocean, I am humbled and reminded of my place in the universe. As I walk in the forest and I feel and hear the gentle breeze caressing the branches of age old trees, I am calm and centered. An encounter with an orangutan leaves me small yet joyous.
We share this planet not only with each other. We share it with countless other species. From the tiny ant to the graceful blue whale. Let us give them their due regard.
So what is the legacy you want to leave behind? What will your final words be? “I paid of my mortgage.”?
I have news for you. Your real mortgage has no monetary value. We work hard all our lives to amass money to pay off the most expensive thing we will ever own. The real price of your mortgage is the daily change you affect on this planet. It costs you nothing.
It’s a small “price” to pay for something priceless: our home sweet home.