Behind the Smile

We the human race are using this planet’s resources faster than they can be replenished. We are stripping the topsoil, polluting the waterways, pumping toxic gasses into the atmosphere, filling our oceans and our bodies with lethal chemicals, warming the planet and wiping out forests and entire species of animals.

We are being horrible to each other globally, with rampant inequality between and within nations, children going to bed hungry and cold, and war and violence a constant companion of many.

It’s enough to make one completely depressed and paralysed by the sheer scope of the challenges we face on this pale blue dot on an outer spiral arm of the milky way. It’s such an enormous task that it could make you baulk, give up on humanity and become impartial to humanity’s survival.

But you know me, my friends, and I’m not naive to the situation we’re in. As a young person, with (hopefully) more of my life ahead of me than behind, it is something that I must face.

We are one of but many species on this planet, and the story of Earth has had chapters much longer than ours. The planet can go on without us, but we cannot survive much longer treating it the way we do. As Paul Watson says: being an environmentalist is an act of self preservation!

How do I not let the knowledge of all that is wrong get me down? Because I KNOW something else. Whatever the challenges, I know what the human spirit, and people working together can achieve!

Yes we are an animal, but we are an animal that has a unique perspective to see the effects of our actions on our environment. Through recorded history we can recognise changes over longer than just our lifespans. We are an animal that can choose how our society is organised, and we are an animal that can change those circumstances and change those effects.

This is why I am so happy. Not because I am ignorant of the challenges we face but because I know we CAN face them, because I believe in YOU. in the power of US!

My happiness and optimism is a choice. one I make every single day.

In whatever way it is that I am interacting with you, it is towards the goal of keeping this world habitable for us, those that come after us, and the wonderfully complex biodiversity that has taken millions of years to reach its current brilliance. It is what drives everything I do. From trying to live waste free, to organising for a political party that I feel can make good change towards the world we want to see.

So when you see me and my smile, I hope that you can see a bit of what’s behind it. My faith in you that we can sort this whole thing out. I will work with you. I believe in you.

Thank you for being the amazing people that you are. You wouldn’t be in my life otherwise.

Feels good to have just said all that 🙂
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