Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Gaia, New Age mumbo-jumbo or spookily real

After the devastating tsunamis in Samoa, Tonga and Sumatra, I have been musing about the concept of Gaia, the earth as an organic entity, a living creature. Now, with utmost respect to those who have lost loved ones in all these countries, is the Earth/Gaia becoming angry and striking back because we are stressing it and abusing it? Is it climate change, global warming, over-population or plain dumb luck?

Are there more huge natural disasters in recent years or do we just hear more about them because of the speed of global communication?

We seem to stumble on blindly, trying to have all the luxuries, the modern conveniences, all the while pretending stewardship of the Earth is somebody else's problem. Politicians and businessmen would have us believe that economic growth can just continue unabated in some infinite upward trajectory with no limit, but it is a damn lie and they know it!

We all have to stand up and be counted. We have to start saying, "No, I don't need a 50-inch plasma TV, a huge gas-guzzling 4-wheel drive, a holiday home, a private school education for my children, blah, blah, blah, and on it goes."

We have to say instead, "I need a strong community where I know all my neighbours. I need social justice for all so everyone on this planet can have healthy food, clean water, decent housing, good education and a sense that he or she is a valued member of society. I need to live simply and feel incredibly blessed that I live on a planet that can be a paradise for all if we have the will and desire to live in peace and harmony. What is important is people not money."

In New Zealand where I live, a great Maori chieftain once said, when defining what is important in life, "he tangata, he tangata, he tangata" ("it is people, it is people, it is people"). 

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