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THE PLANET IS DOING FINE

THURSDAY JUNE 04, 2015



There is no climate change and no shift in weather patterns. There are just as many storms as before, floods, droughts, tornadoes, eruptions and heatwaves. Nothing has changed except our own attitudes. Without any evidence of a planet-threatening problem alarmists should stop trying to make one up. 

It is healing for the soul to sit by a beach or watch a sunset. It is soothing to walk through a garden of flowers. There is magic everywhere if we wish to look. It is uplifting to watch children play, squealing with joy. The choice is entirely ours to ask what is wrong with any of these scenes or to simply be a quiet witness to the beautiful science of life. Whatever we decide will influence our health and well-being, and longevity. It is infectious and affects those around us. 

To choose the negative is to never run out of resource material. It will be everywhere one seeks to find. Nothing will be good enough for those with high standards, of integrity, cleanliness, cultural correctness or behaviour of others. But such folk are only talking about themselves. There is no reason why anybody else needs to attend. Most people do not find negativity attractive, because the negative campaigner perhaps does not wish to be here. Driving themselves away they drive away others. It is self fulfilling prophecy because one ends up lonely and without friends, disgruntled, angry and fearful. 

To choose the positive is to more quickly forgive others their failings and be rid of personal guilt and regret. The joy of the moment can inspire to spontaneous creativity or a sense of wonder and surprise. In this weather within, warmer winds follow cooler gusts. One goes with the flow, not against it. Whatever happens one finds out how to adapt in the best way. Sometimes it is a case of waiting and not fighting what cannot be changed. When we get out of our own way we get out of the way of others too. Live and let live and you can walk away if you wish.

The I Ching says wisdom is knowing the five facts of living. These are; knowledge of what it is to be firm and correct alternating with indecision, being free of guilt and of regret over past decisions, knowing how to wait for things to pass and arrive, knowing all things come then go in cycles and seasons, acknowledging nothing is forever nor unimportant, allowing for change, and openness to learning. Out of these emerges life's excitement, renewal and solutions to confusions.

Sooner or later one comes into contact with children, either one's own or belonging to others. It may just be that we pass them on the street. The little creatures are everywhere. The way we are perceived by children will affect them. If I decide to be a grumpy alarmist, concerned that the world is ending soon and that I am not doing enough for the 'environment', the children I encounter will role model discontented joyless shadows of real children. Such kids may not be allowed to climb trees or get dirty and stay dirty all day, because I would be forever in their way. 

They will regard the world as a nagging place where nothing they do will be right and where they do not really have high value because they are denied a selected place. They have role modeled this from significant others who feel intruders in some pristine garden of eden, disturbers of the ground, and polluters. It is child abuse. The children have to endure snuffed joyfulness by immature adults with personal difficulties of adjusting to their own miserable existences. That is in turn is usually the fault of their own upbringings. 

Instead of grumbling through the day complaining about the planet's demise we can work with the circumstances we find ourselves in. This means gently going forward, as a child does. A child does not wish to remember yesterday - there is too much going on today. The child does not wish to be made accountable to something said last week. To a healthy child each moment is renegotiable, he is forever paid up, the future holds only endless excitement, and although the child may have a wish list future success is less conditional on what others say or do and more an attitude of looking to what interesting discoveries may unfold. Discovery drives the healthy child. 

The unhealthy child has closed down and believes nothing will be good again. Discovery is overlaid with depression. There is a belief that the best times are over and it is a struggle to survive day to day. Ask yourself, which child are you? The answer may be found looking at our own children, for we are their teachers. Children are mirrors of ourselves. Are we forever telling them what to do, what to think, and what to be unhappy about? Is that what we are doing to ourselves also? We all retain our own child within.

I carry long balloons in my pocket for when I see a crying child at a bus stop, or bored out of its brain and inflicting its frustration on those around him. When I begin to make an animal balloon the whole scene suddenly changes. Smiles and giggles replace screaming and kicking. There are a lot of disgruntled children around. Like dogs, they resent being tied up all day with no stimulation just because the owner/parent has chosen to live that way. It is not the fault of the climate nor the cities, nor modern life replacing old ways nor what is in any 'environment'. 

The key word is choice. Anyone can choose to be content or discontent. No one is forced to live in the city, but most of us wish to so we can be near to work and supermarkets and other services.  Cities run on engines and engines come with emissions. It is unavoidable. Pollution comes with all cities. If we think we can reduce fumes we must be prepared to do away with cities. But who decides? There are many who love cities. We have no right to decide for them. As Tony Robbins says, pain is unavoidable but is temporary, whereas suffering is a choice.

I try to smile at all children whenever I see them, especially those under five. I believe it reassures them that the world is a happy place. I like to imagine a world in which all adults regularly did that. There would be no room for the feeling of the sad introverted kid that he is always in someone's way, or some sorry embarrassment to the planet just because he does not switch off lights. Children who are smiled at are given a feeling that they have been noticed. This gives them, even for a short time, a place-value and identity. This in turn leads to place value in mathematics and a sense of numerical identity which in the child's brain means he is now some "one". 

Such a child will do well at school because numberworks is education's cornerstone. There are better odds that the smiled-at child will grow up to be a smiler and his world will become a happier place full of happier people. This is the legacy we can leave to our children. Please don't tell them it is their job to save the planet - they already have a job just growing up. Now they must save the planet as well? They will not thank you for less emissions, lower seas, larger glaciers, more polar bears or more rain forests if at the same time you are creating a poisonously gloomy home environment. But they will remember if you smiled at them when they wanted daily reassurance. They do not know they want it because they don't have the words to ask. Aside from parental cautions about danger it is toxic to teach a child your own angst - to a child a smile, not a political cause, is love.

So do we want to spread love or misery? What kind of households are we running - is there a lot of laughter or does hand-wringing fill the air?  There is much concerned talk about pollution in the environment but who is looking after the community's mental environment, and who is polluting it with doom and gloom? The choice is to watch endless bad news and be miserable, or switch off negative media and use that precious family time to chase the kids around the house. It is okay to work towards a better world, but it should not be the main daily focus. There are many stories of very fun-loving immigrant families who were once dirt poor. I should know - I came from one. Misery is unaffordable whereas a smile is free. When we smile at a child the child beams back. In that moment everyone feels good about themselves, we all feel safe and the planet is fine.




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