jusummerhayes

I don't know

Photo by h heyerlein on Unsplash
Photo by h heyerlein on Unsplash

Right now, there's an almost volcanic explosion of opinion and advice on what we need do after this pandemic has run its unremitting course.

It's premised on the idea that this 'shock' is of such epic proportion that we'll be woken from our pre-Covid19 torpor and begin not only to reimagine a more beautiful world, premised at least on a few things that are happening now, but we'll actually change our moribund, earth-eating ways.

We won't.

Oh no we won't.

How do I know?

I don't. 

I don't know what the future holds — mine or anyone else's. Oh sure, that doesn't stop me wishing that we'll wake up to a lifestyle more restorative of the planet, but do I seriously think that all of us, or even a majority, will want to live with less travel, less consumerism, less freedom and less of anything?

No.

Not in the slightest.

I mean it's pretty sad — no actually, it's 10x worse — that we have to have this pandemic ripping its way through the population to suddenly think, "Oh shit, look how we've messed up", let alone to conceive a new actuality in 2020ish and beyond.

Let me say it again. I've no idea what anyone's plans are for the next few years, let alone the next 50 or 100. I do know that we've been on one trajectory and one trajectory alone and that's to destroy the living planet with increasing fervour and alacrity (look at the increase in air travel as one example). At its bedrock not only lies a consumerist raison d'etre but the mindset that believes we somehow own the planet. In the UK, this manifests with our obsession with home and land ownership — still largely in the hands of the few; and fishing rights — as if anyone could own the sea, including all living creatures (or is it just the edible ones?) from its surface to its bedrock. 

For me, as a lawyer, if we truly recognised the inalienable rights of the earth in the same way we make such a fuss about human rights — yes, they're important but absent a living planet they look more than a little risible — then worldwide, including the most ravaged countries, we'd have enacted a slew of earth law rights in the same way that a few countries have done so. Even then, as you and I both know, and this is taking a simplistic approach, they'd always be at the mercy of big business who would, no doubt, wave the growth, prosperity and security cards as much more important than protecting a species of worm, the soil or a river. 

Anyhow, I'm going off on one again.

The point is, all we can do is all we can do -- right now, today, even if we're holed up, buttoned-down and probably going a little stir crazy. In my case, that means doing my work until I'm furloughed, serving my family and showing up all body, mind and spirit. On this last point, the best way I can describe this is to be present to the moment, after all, it's the only one we've got.

Take care and stay safe.

Blessings,

Ju

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