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For better or worse, we’re all in it together!

This week I received an important reminder that one reaps what one saws, on a personal level. And the more I thought about it, the more I could not stop but relate that in so many ways to how that relates to the world today. With all of the natural disasters happening around the world just in the past month, I think it is timely that we re-evaluate how we have been treating mother earth.

I do not want to sound like that lady that is walking around on the street and yelling “the end is near”, but deep down, I feel it a little bit, especially lately. The media has covered the news about the flooding in Houston, Texas that has displaced over thirty thousand people and turned the fourth largest city in the US into a large pond. Although the death toll is not yet finalized, it is clear that the numbers will be higher than what we are hearing now. But hurricane Harvey is just one of the catastrophic natural disasters happening in the world.

Sierra Leone’s capital city Freetown has been hit by a horrific flooding and mudslide which has resulted in the deaths of over 1000 of its citizens. This is a tragedy that has stunned me but is being swept under the rug as hurricane Harvey happens. Another natural disaster that has barely caught the world’s attention is the on-going flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh that has so far claimed 1200 lives.

This is of course without mentioning the rise in temperatures that has caused droughts in many regions including Southern and East Africa affecting the lives of many farmers and impacting food production around the world. What I keep hearing is about how temperatures are rising and government must align policies and impose green and environment friendly laws.

All of this makes me feel that I, as an individual, have no power. That my actions do not matter and that I should just live as I have been and hope that things get better. I do not know about you, but I am not comfortable with that. There is a narrative that tells us all that what happens outside of our vicinity, city, country or region does not really concern us. And that is absolutely false. What we all fail to understand is that although the world feels big, we are all inter-connected.

Reading the news about how the Brazilian president has abolished a law that protects a National Reserve of Copper and Associates the size of Norway in the Amazon forest so as to allow a mining company to extract these resources, I am really concerned and frustrated about what this means to us all. The way this earth works is so that it does not matter who is doing the polluting and the messing up, when it comes to facing the consequences, we may be the ones upon whom she unlashes her wrath.

Let me be clear, what happens around the world environmentally affects you… yes, YOU. You may not feel it right now, but you really are. We will all live in this environment until death does us part, at which point the environment goes on and we do not. As a practical example, a few years from now injera may not hold as big a space on your daily food plate as it does today as its production could be affected and prices will become too high. So what do we do? Let’s correct our own polluting practices. Stop buying plastic bags and reuse the ones that we have accumulated so far. How can we expect others to act responsibly towards mother nature, if we do not take time to do it ourselves.