Often at Cosy Cottage, I watch the blue and great tits fluttering over to the bird feeder to nibble fat ball snacks. (Yes, Cosy Cottage also operates as a café for my feathered chums).
And while I do, I brood upon the state of the world.
Is it me or do labels divide us?
Who are you? Are you male, female, transgender, intersex, gay, straight, bisexual, black, white, brown, mixed race, Christian, Catholic, CofE, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, agnostic, atheist, Tory, Labour, Lib Democrats, Green, Remainer, Leaver, poor, rich, comfortable, British, English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish…?
And so on… And so on…
Of course, we are this and that, that and the other. I am some of these descriptions too. Of course I am. They form part of each and everyone’s identity and certainly I am proud of my Celtic heritage.
But what if we focus on these labels to the extent that other issues are forgotten?
Like the planet. Endangered species. Pollution.
Would things be better if, instead of thinking of ourselves and each other in terms of our gender/race/sexuality/religion (etc etc) identities, we look at each other primarily as
2. Humans who live on a beautiful planet – which we really should start looking after as it is our home!
3. Humans who share our home (planet) with our fellow beings (other species) who have just the same right to live here as we do.
For any religious readers, I do believe that, if there is a God, He would want us to look after the planet given to us … And care for each other, humans and animals.
And for non-religious readers, even without a God, why would we want to mess up the home we all live in? Why arrogantly assume we are the only species which matters? Or leave our planet in a polluted, disease-ridden, barren state for the next generation?
Facts of the Day
1. Elephants face serious threats including illegal killing for ivory and habitat destruction. In 1900, there were 10 million elephants. In 2014, there were only 420,000. (www.bornfree.org.uk)
2. It takes plastic 400 years to degrade in water.
3. Chemicals such as pesticides, found in polluted water, can contaminate food chains through affected marine life. This can lead to nervous system damage, hormonal problems amongst others. (www.plasticoceans.org)