With the pandemic taking grip of all of our lives, it is timely to think about our present and future.
Here a few interesting sources what’s been happening around the world:
- The Mayor of London is creating ‘physical distancing’ spaces in the centre of Europe’s biggest city
- The Mayor of Ponteverda, a 60,000 people town in Spain, is making his town ‘car free’. And business is thriving in the city centre, to the surprise of even hard core nay sayers.
- Copenhagen, Denmark’s capital and biggest city, has over 60% of the population commuting to work daily (even in their miserably cold & wet winters) on their self propelled bicycles (up from under 10% ten years ago)
- In Venice dolphins & swans have returned to the amazing canals
- In Bejing people can see blue sky again. The first time in years
- Negotiating a Red Deal by indigenous people (vs. white conservationism)
To me this is showing that either by visionary leadership (Copenhagen, Ponteverda, London) or pandemic forced measures (Bejing, Venice), we humans by doing less harm by travelling less, spending more time with our beloved ones, polluting less to produce unnecessary things we do not need, we can give our environment & planet a breather.
May be we all need a breather more often, rather than rushing around, trying to multitask, work harder to be able to afford buying more unnecessary doodads or services, consume less, over doing it without thinking about the unintended consequences this imposes on our beloved blue planet…
In this interesting pod cast Naomi Klein, a Canadian social activist, talks about the ‘essential economy’: what can’t we live without, what do we value most? What did we miss most during the pandemic lock-down: is it shopping, is it our family & friends, is it going for a walk on a beach with your beloved ones …
Let’s use this time of crisis to hold in, reflect and change our lives. We may not be able to change everything in one go. But each of us can do our bit.
We can refuse to be sucked into an ever increasing (downward spiral) of being busier than ever, but achieving less and less. Shouldn’t we go back to basic principles? What is most important in our lives?
To me it is walks on the beach with my wife, friends. Having meaningful discussions. Cooking together. Doing the dishes by hand. Slowing down rather than speeding up. Enjoying birds singing in our trees & scrubs, taking a bath in our little bird bath. Talking to our cool Maori neighbour kids about making wheelies on their rugged old bikes. Learning to plant salads, rhubarb, yummy feijoas … Calling a friend I haven’t talked with in a long time. Listening to a vintage vinyl recording. Helping my 85 yr old neighbour with her shopping. Ride the bicycle to the dairy to fetch milk & a paper … I think there a lots of pleasures we can draw from our immediate neighbourhood, without having to travel for $19.99 to Wellington, just because we can.
Not all we can do, we should do.
I think it is time to reflect and work out a more healthy work, life and environment balance.
Please join me on this exciting new journey….
… and join our next Northland conversation on 27. May 5 pm.