REFLECTIONS OF A SHOPKEEPER
This is a strange memory to have popped up for me this week. It was the first year that I met Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, in my former role as Marshal of the Flags for the Commonwealth Observance.
It was in this role that I was privileged enough to hear Sonia Ghandi, Dr Dambisa Moyo, Annie Lennox OBE, Dame Jane Goodall and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speak. All Inspirational Women who have given and achieved so much in their specialist fields. All Women who had a profound impact on me.
But it was the words of Jane Goodall that I wanted to share with you today. In her speech she talked to us about connections. Connections between Nations. Connections between the human and animal worlds. Connection with the environment that we all share.
She also noted the considerable intellect that we as humans have compared to chimpanzees, despite our other similarities. And yet I can't help but be conscious of the stupidity which we exhibit when we mistreat our environment, when we disregard the fine balance of ecosystems, and when we take more than we need without giving back.
Sustainable living isn't about addressing one particular issue in isolation. It needs to be a holistic approach which is mindful of lots of different elements. Land management, deforestation, animal welfare, marine pollution, an over reliance on plastic, the impacts of climate change, the lack of fair wages for workers, a race to the bottom for cheap food which damages both people and planet, horrendous levels of food waste, and a lack of access to clean water and sanitation.
These are all issues that are interlinked and we will never solve any of them without being cognisant of their intersectionality.
As Dr Goddall said: "It seems that we are clever but not wise. We are stealing the future of our children. And it's desperately important that we help them to repair their damaged inheritance...We get a choice as to what kind of difference we are going to make."
Every step we take on the journey to a more sustainable lifestyle is to be celebrated. Every call to action that you respond to makes a difference. Every time you talk to someone (without judgment) about the little changes you are making will influence them to consider their own impact. If every person within their own means does what they can, collectively we can make a difference. We can all be agents of change. So thank you for all that you are doing and continue to do!!
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