I marvel at the myriad ways in which human beings express themselves. Each of us is a unique, wonderful creature, with a combination of talents and characteristics which distinguish us from each other. But this does not make us separate from other humans or from the world in which we live.
We are all part of a larger whole and depend on the health of the whole if we are to thrive. Our world is a complex and dynamic living organism, and we all need to play our part in it, if we are to maintain its wonder.
Yet our philosophy seems to be based on as level of self-centredness that is leading to more and more crises. There are the crises in climate change: extreme weather, desertification, flooding. There are the crises in biodiversity: species dying out deforestation. There are the crises in population movement: refugees from war, poverty, and lack of safety. And of course, the crises arising from the pandemic.
Yet those of us who are presently relatively protected from the negative effects of these crises often act as if it’s not our problem: ‘I’m alright, Jack’.
It’s nearly Christmas. Whether you believe the story of the birth of Jesus or not, it’s a powerful parable. His family were forced to leave their home and go to another town – twice! They met with rejection: ‘no room at the inn’. And then someone offered them the stable, so they at least had shelter.
We are still repeating the story: shutting refugees out, ignoring the homeless, keeping our vaccines for ourselves and letting others die, consuming like mad, and stripping our natural world in the process.
I know I can’t effect the change I want to see, where we all recognise that if some part of this living organism is not able to function well, it affects us all. But I can do my bit, by recognising my own inter-connectedness with everything and everyone.
This means standing up against the narrow self-centred approach taken by our ‘leaders’. It means showing care for other human beings in whatever way I can – those I know personally and those I don’t know. And it means consuming less, and caring for my little piece of the planet.
I would love to be a healthy part of a healthy living organism – our world. Let’s all wish for that this Christmas, and do our bit to help to make it happen – a true peace on earth and goodwill to all mankind.