More Love In The World

More isn’t necessarily a good thing. Bigger doesn’t always mean better. Change isn’t automatically a sound move. If we don’t start thinking, really thinking, about how our world is shaping up, we’re going to leave an unsalvageable mess for our children. We live in a throw away, pass the buck, plausible deniability, winner takes all society. We exploit, maim, torture, pollute and poison to turn a quicker profit, make it to millionaires’ row before we hit forty. Yet richness isn’t about money or title, but spending quality time with the people you love, leaving an epic kindness footprint behind, making someone’s life better for no other reason than it is the right thing to do and there’s pride and joy in the doing of it.

Purpose and drive has been replaced by convenience and laziness. Why work at something when you can buy the answers online? Why exert yourself when you can pay someone else to do it for you? The satisfaction from doing a job well and with determination, a warm goodness spreading through you like a syrupy reward, cannot compete with a family-size cola and a burger whose calories could feed an entire Third World village. We pay out billions to suck out fat when we get obese, lift and tuck to roll back the years, rather than keep our gluttony in check and relish the present and the people who share it with us. Forests are levelled, land blown up, rivers swollen with chemicals so that we can have quilted toilet paper or run twenty appliances at any one time. Who cares if we won’t be able to breathe in fifty years time? We won’t be here, it’s not our problem.

It’s all me me me, rather than we we we.

It’s not cool to be kind. Being a do-gooder is a bad thing. Efforts to make a positive and lasting difference are sneered at and looked down on. A helping hand is regarded as an act of communism threatening national identity. How on earth have we arrived at a situation where being kind and community-minded is mocked rather than encouraged? How can being told you are a Mother Theresa be an insult, not a compliment? Too few take responsibility for their actions, instead blaming a leader they blindly follow or a God they know deep down refuses to atone their sins and will have choice words to say about that come Judgment Day. But they don’t care about that because that’s not their problem either and besides, it’s tomorrow’s job and by then there might be someone they can bribe to take the heat for that also.

But you care, don’t you? You see what’s happening with eyes that can’t quite believe it and a heart that wishes life weren’t this way? You care about animals, and leaving them be, walking an earth that has trees and clean air in it and a nice stretch of woodland where you can enjoy those things, somewhere you won’t get mugged or shot, or, at least, somewhere where if you do get mugged or shot someone will come to your aid rather than avert their eyes and glide soundlessly away? Because that’s the thing. We are connected. This world, it belongs to all of us. What one person does affects another, regardless of the ‘me me me’ mentality. Like it or not, we’re all one. So doing nothing is doing something. It’s helping those who only help themselves. The time to stand up and be counted is right now. The time to say yes to kindness and compassion, respect and responsibility is today. Thomas Payne once said, ‘If there is to be trouble, let it be in my day that my child have peace’. It’s about time we applied that philosophy to every aspect of our lives.

Alaska - Degeneres