‘Be the change’

‘Be the change’

A good way to begin the journey of change would be to take a leaf or two from our very own ancestors and traditional and indigenous wisdom. With all the talk of climate change, there is none untouched. And that is exactly why each of us needs to do our bit.

Shital Ravi

Climate change is no more a word we just heard. Today most of us are experiencing its meaning. True, that we are unable to remain immune to the fear and anxiety that it brings in. But isn’t there anything that can be done?

Of course there’s much that can be done at the individual level. All is not lost yet. There is hope!

Let us try and understand what we can achieve at the individual level and how.

Awareness building: The very first step is to understand the problem in its totality. Do not divorce yourself from it by stating that it’s a global problem or national problem, and the governments, global leaders and world politicians have to do something about it. It is not someone else’s problem anymore. It is our problem. It is your problem, my problem. In the olden times, Indian warriors needed to learn and know a concept called ‘Shatrubodh’. It literally means knowing your enemy well. Knowing what you are fighting is important. So, read about it, gather information, follow the trends. Be informed because knowledge is power.

Acceptance: When awareness comes in, then it is time to go within and see how we are contributing to the problem. An uncomfortable task indeed but something that must be done. Acknowledging that we are part of the problem actually could help us to start thinking of how to stop being part of the problem and start becoming part of the solution. Introspect, reflect on your own daily practices and see how we are adding to the existing issue. We would be surprised to know that there are many ways that we could curb the global warming, indeed in our small way. But that shouldn’t dishearten us, because it is droplets that make the ocean.

Action: With acceptance will come the will to change and act wisely. It is time to utilise this adversity as our fuel for understanding, thus surpassing fear, and not just facing things as they are, but also be the harbinger of essential change.

A good way to begin this journey of change would be to take a leaf or two from our very own ancestors and traditional and indigenous wisdom. All over the world, indigenous cultures have taught us to be nature friendly and be attuned to the rhythms of nature.

If I just need to bring in a simple example from our own Bharatiya culture itself, just 2-3 generations ago our grandparents or great grandparents used to eat food on banana leaves. These banana leaves were then given as food to cows. Our grandmothers would put rangoli from rice flour outside the houses, which then became food for ants and other insects. What simple yet effective natural processes where a balance was maintained between us and nature and no harm done to the environment or climate.

Today, it might be difficult to replicate these customs. But can we begin to reflect on what we could do differently in the given circumstances. Just ask yourself what are some ways to bring in more healthier practices in my daily routine? To get you started just look at all the gadgets that you use in your daily life and can you bring in any change in their usage? As an example, how long do you run your air conditioner in summers and on what temperature? Or do you use your car even for short distances where you could easily just walk?  Do you use plastic bags when just a simple habit of carrying a cloth bag would do wonders? You might amaze yourself with the plethora of points that you might bring up. Put those to action.

If each one of us goes back to better practices using traditional, indigenous wisdom we can hope to put a break to the rising dangers of climate change and look forward to a better future.

Just that…Be the change!