January has flown past and what a month for weather, for work, for life and for love. No category proved to offer what was at first promised and overall the one word I can use to sum up the month’s events is nothing less than ‘astonishing’ – and one little word it may be – but I had many a reason to experience its infinite nuances. Guided by this verb I began thinking about words and the power they contain, yet even so, how they fail to entirely paint a clear picture of an event.
Once upon a time there was ‘the word’ – it heralded the beginning of creation and as mankind loped its way through generations, evolving and developing, so too did the words they used to describe their processes and ‘reasoning’. Then the printing press was invented and access to words was forever changed. Governments and organised religion began controlling the words that were expressed and yet the words continued circulating, changing people’s perceptions and their understanding of the world around them.
Fast forward to our current reality and the words relating to the ‘green’ era, to sustainablility, to energy efficiency, to global climate issues, to dwindling resources, the collapse of economies and we have a language of fear, crises, finality.
I believe that a new language is required, one that will serve to inspire a generation to want to participate in and innovate its way out of the problems in order to embrace a changing world.
Let’s play with a new lexicon that can serve to reveal the deeply complex connectivity that we all share and do so in a way that brings excitement and hope to the adaptation process this generation needs to engage with. How can language guide us to do better in our place in the world and make us better tenants of planet earth? What words will unify us rather than continue to draw barriers and divide those actively creating solutions to the problems from the economic giants and energy cartels that steer certain governmental policies?
What words would inspire you to adapt, what words would inspire you to reclaim your responsibility with everything that you encounter? ‘Life’, like ‘love’ is a doing word; so too is ‘custodianship’. We are custodians of the families we are born into and create and we are custodians of the planet we rely on for everything that is astonishing; the birds, the bees, the sunrise, the life giving water that enables the creation of every life form on this planet, the outstretched hand of a child in joy and in pain, the outstretched hand of an old person, of you on your journey through your life…the chance for astonishment is endless.
And astonishment works in the reverse too. Since when did it become ‘ok’ for energy giants and huge multi-nationals to commit ‘ecocide’? This is a new word that been tabled and born of this generation. Ecocide is the only word that can describe the heinous, deeply criminal actions that are being committed daily in the quest for energy and in order to continue with unsustainable agricultural practises that leads to mass deforestation.
Ecocide is not at all ok – neither is the language of mendacity surrounding the truth of what is going on. I remain astonished. MB 6-2-12