Green, for me means life. Concrete paving and tarmac roads with houses rising like giant, stone biscuit-tins full of odds and strangements – these things are not. Grass and trees and all manner of plants are green and they evoke, for me love and life and the very essence of living well.
Is it possible to have a world of greenery? A world where the concrete recedes and is taken back into the earth by the jungle? Yes, I guess so. But it’d mean the end of this civilisation. So ask yourself: would that be a good thing or a bad thing?
By the end of this month there will be more than seven thousand eight hundred and twenty three million people wandering about on this planet. Some will be old and will die soon, but they will be replaced by new ones; and then some. That’s a lot of people.
I just watched a series called Utopia on Amazon and the punch-line *spoiler alert* is that they (some kind of sinister green corporation) plan to release a virus that will stop people from producing children for a few generations. No-one will die from the virus itself, but the ones that contract it will be sterile. The population will reduce and the world will, once more, have enough resources to be able to cope with whoever remains.
Sounds like an interesting plan, but I hope nothing else gets lost in the process. I hope the world will be able to move on without descending into the kind of savagery that comes from rapid change and the fear that comes with it. Strikes me that we need something more in order to prevent the loss of what we have from affecting us in a bad way.
I’ve been listening to a series of videos called On Leadership, given by Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn. Seems that he’s been rather successful in building his business and so he decided to share a few tips in this 3.5 hour long course. One thing that struck me about his methodology was the focus and reliance on things like mindfulness, self-awareness and values. He encourages leaders to look within and draw out their own personal values and then see if these could be aligned with the values of the corporations they were leading.
And it’s this focus on values that I think is important when we start to think about green issues. I propose that it’s much more important to start here than with physical things like saving this, recycling that and reseeding the other. It’s values that will ensure that we can transition to a green world more effectively.
When we start with love, we automatically seek to save. When we begin with a peaceful awareness of the things around us, we naturally want to prolong the usefulness of them. And when we find value in the earth as a place for natural growth rather than a plot of land on which to build, then of course our first thoughts are about sowing seeds.
And these seeds are not just ones that will bear green shoots that reach towards the sun, but they will be ones that reflect whatever it is we sow. When we interact with others with love, then this is what grows. When we spread peace, then this is what we get back. When we smile from our hearts, then this starts an epidemic of happiness. And this holds true for all values.
So, yes, a world with fewer people, whether this is brought about by a virus of one kind or another, might be a good thing, but we need to adopt values that will see us through this transition too. We need to support our people in a way that will allow them to prosper and then enable them to spread that message to their people too. In this way, a wave a love spreads around the world like a beautiful fragrance.
But is this practical? Can we do this? Can we create a greener world for future generations? Will we be capable of keeping our chin up when things around us are falling apart? I don’t know. But I’ll tell you one thing: it paints a much better and more vibrant picture than any other I know of.
So yes, love your world; love those around you; love everything with all your heart and lets see if we can’t build something green together. Let’s see if we can’t make the future golden for you, me and everyone else. And let’s start now. Who’s with me?