Friday, January 14, 2011

What Natural Catastrophes Can Teach Us

The center of my hometown is flooded!


In Brazil, 500 people died of severe flooding in the last two days. This week, thousands of Brisbane and Ipswich residents have been displaced by the worst floods the region has endured in 37 years; 67 suburbs were swallowed by the waters.

What a terrible reminder to us that we need to take better care of our world, our home, our only sanctuary. I don't know what the situation is in Brazil and Australia, nor whether floods like this are caused by global warming or not; and surely floods occurred even before we started polluting the air. But when our cellars and houses run full and our towns are reduced to rubble by muddy rushing water, it's our own fault. We straighten our rivers, clog the ground with asphalt, cut down trees and compact the soil on the fields until nature can no longer compensate large masses of water.

And what for? As always, it all comes down to money. Rivers are straightened and trees cut down so that houses, factories, malls can be built. Roads and parking lots are built to accomodate the ever-growing masses of vehicles zipping around, carrying people to and from work, and goods from one continent to the next. The soil is compacted by agricultural overuse and contaminated with toxins, never allowed to rest and recover, to breathe. All for the sake of turning the pennies.

Money makes the world go round. At least, that's our philosophy. Our world has ways of showing us that's complete hogwash. Of course, we need money. We need food. We need places to live. But I'm positive we can have all we want and more, if we work with our planet, not against it. This world provides everything we need to live and be happy. For all of us. If we only let it.

Money is just a means to an end. It's neither good nor bad. It's our attitudes towards it and how we use it that corrupt it, makes us forget why and how we're here at all. 

Love makes the world go round.

And now I'm getting off my soap-box - I fear it grew rather high in the last few paragraphs...

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