What is the problem? We are all capable of change

I write this piece with Earth Day approaching and while the Corona Virus is still rampant around the globe.

While we have all been sheltering away, we have all had time to observe and reflect on our behaviour and the behaviour of those around us – near and far.  It is increasingly obviously, cracks are appearing in the capacity of our communities, health systems, ecosystems and landscapes to provide the protection and security and the goods and services that sustain our well-being.  This global pandemic, the recent droughts, floods and fires have exposed major weaknesses for which we are all responsible.  Our resource base, planet Earth is shrinking while our population continues to expand – overcrowding cities and decimating the environment.  The response from most quarters has been ‘more of the same’ that got us into this situation in the first place: more control, more unnecessary government spending, more intensification, more waste all round and greater efficiency.

It has been amazing how the majority of people in communities around the world have worked together with shared values for a more positive outcome from this deadly virus.  I can see no reason why these shared values cannot be extended for a positive change for the better in the local communities when it comes to the local environmental issues because what works for our well-being (society) can work for the environment too.

In small ways, we all need to refocus after all the disasters of recent times – natural and man-made.  Individuals in business and in society taking small steps to change their behaviour and the behaviour of others with whom they come in contact can make such a difference.  I strongly believe from this pandemic experience, we all will want to look again at the familiar with different lenses in the context of our dynamically changing world – of living resiliently within it.

Jan Couper
M.Ed.; M.Env.

Sustainability and Resilience Strategist

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