An age of reckoning, a new way of thinking

December 22, 2020

I have been giving much thought to the state of our world during this strangest of years and particularly during the past month as I grapple with a local issue that matters to me very much. In many ways, the issue is symbolic of a much broader concern – one of respect for our world, for our species and our relationship to them.

I spoke of this during a recent rally in Stratford, Canada, where I live.

I believe we are now in an age of reckoning. Our societies and our planet are at a crossroads.

This horrific era of colonization of everything must end since it has brought us to the face of our own extinction, be it the land, the people, or remaining species. There is no more land to colonize or industrialize without facing the direst of consequences.

Nature, our forests and the land have had no voice during these centuries of overwhelming colonizing forces. Species are going extinct. Polar bears are wandering into human communities looking for food, or becoming lost in the oceans as the ice disappears from their natural habitat. The caribou are undertaking new and perilous migrations in their search for food. We know that even the COVID-19 pandemic, which has come to traumatize this planet, is likely to have originated from another species from which we should be more physically removed.

We know that every piece of land on this planet consists of ecosystems, far beyond the human eye and sadly, it seems, beyond our comprehension. Yet, we are all dependent on them, be they such pollinators as bees and butterflies. Or the trees which provide us with the oxygen we breath and sequester the carbon we are trying to reduce in the face of climate change.

We must now be prepared to approach the future with a new paradigm of thinking. One where we are not in dominion over everything, but where we respect all living things and find our rightful place within the natural world. We must remind ourselves that we’re only custodians of this land which our creator has so generously given us and which will pass on to others when we are no longer here. We need to be making good choices.

As one looks out over the arch of time, we can see most significantly during the age of exploration and so-called ‘discovery,’ followed by the Industrial Revolution during which technical progress became unhinged from moral progress, that we have put ourselves on a path of self-destruction.

We know in our hearts what’s at stake here is much larger than ourselves. What is at stake is the health of our planet, the land which gives us sustenance, the environment and the species struggling to find food and habitat, and the future of our youth who will inherit the challenges we’ve left them. 

I believe the time has come for us to stand back, take stock and take action, for our planet, for ourselves and for our future generations.

Together let’s make 2021 a year of positive change and steadfast resolution.