Like most of you, I’ve been haunted daily by the apocalyptic anthology alight in Australia these past months. Though I’m inspired by the stories and acts of humanity that have risen from this tragedy, I’ve lived long enough to learn that no matter how much money we send in its wake (which we should do), it will only ever act as a bandaid. 

Apart from these moments in Australia, California and Amazonia, where we all gasp collectively at the sheer size of the calamity, an overwhelming majority of us will return to our daily lives and dig into the dissonance, because we know that if we truly got involved in ways that halt these horrors before they happen, we’ll have to disrupt our lifestyles of privilege, and because we cannot imagine a world any different than the one we live in, we’ll choose avoidance over action. 

The problem is, avoidance does not diminish the tragedy of climate chaos nor the social and economic injustice created, it only empowers and emboldens its pains. If we reject collective grief, we lose collective joy. Because eventually, if we don’t rise together in unity to demand changes that are truly revolutionary, the horrors of climate catastrophe will arrive at our doorsteps and snatch the prolonged joy we’ve been hoarding. 

“Better to suffer in truth than prosper in falsehood” a Danish fisherman once said to me, as I sat lamenting the discomforts of knowledge on the shores of the North Sea. His words have rung in my mind throughout this past decade, in the moments I wished to unknow what I’d gleaned so I could go back to the joyous frivolity celebrated by our narcissistic society. 
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Yet I’ve learnt, in those moments, that knowledge is a gift not a curse. A seed of change you cannot suffocate, rooting itself into your mind, body and soul as an ancient reminder that in order to perceive your personal path, to earn wisdom, to grow individually and as a society, and to insight transformative change, we must sit with the chaos, and the discomfort. Only there will we imagine a different future, only there can we find a soulful response to the troubles of humanity and the living world. 

I believe there is a thread of purpose from the centre of our own life into the world, which when contributed to the collective, weaves itself into the fabric of reality contributing to change. Our purpose, individually and as a species, is to transform. To share our individual gifts with community and cherish the offerings of others as we evolve into an enhanced version of humanity, rooted in relationships of respect and reciprocity. 

I pray 2020 will commence a decade of climate action, one so powerful that in ten years’ time we’ll look back and be proud of how far we came. As we’ll be living in a world completely unlike this one, where the wellness and abundance currently procured through pools of privilege as a personal gain, will be measured instead by the physical, mental and social well-being of all living things collectively and prosperity will be measured by the depth of our relationships. 

It might seem hopeless today, next week and next month, but I truly believe if we each do our part, and inspire others to do the same, we can truly and meaningfully change. Because the truth is, we can only truly rise if we rise together, and we can only save the living world if we work together. All flourishing is mutual.
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