saving the world - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
Before the speech competition began a middle aged woman bustled to the stand. We all took a collective moment to yawn and brace ourselves against some words to inspire us to work harder. She looked about as inspiring as my geography teacher, and she gave up the will to try a long time ago. But when she spoke every word was written in fire.
"I realise that in this room there are vastly more teens than people my age and older, but if you'll excuse me dear teens, I'm speaking to the adults. You are cretins. All of you. You bring these kids here to talk about problems they didn't create without telling them that there is an easy solution to all of it. This doesn't empower them, it creates anxiety. You bring them here and put them on stage, telling them that their generation will change the world, save the world. They can't. They can't but you can. You can and I'll tell you how.
You have money and that is all the corporations care about. Money. Fake digits. Change the way you spend and you change the world. Make boring changes, don't buy anything you don't need unless a local artisan made it. Cook from scratch with local produce as much as possible. Take your money out of a big five bank and take it to an ethical local credit union. Learn how to convert your household to zero waste. None of this is difficult, and even if it was - the entire planet, your kids included, depend on you doing it.
There is enough food on this planet for nine billion people. There is no shortage of food. We could grow enough food for four billion alone in southern Sudan. Stop supporting the food giants, they make you sick with addictive high sugar, high fat, high salt products that can't even sustain lab rats and they don't care so long as sales stay high. The foods are laced with chemicals - preservatives, colourings, flavourings, carcinogens. They don't care if we get sick, so long as they get rich.
The world population could fit comfortably into Texas, there is no over population....
Saving the world was more a process of evolution than revolution, the changes done slowly with an implication of the virtuous cycle theory. Instead of sudden changes that could easily be undone we developed methods in every arena that produced a better, more ethical, more wholesome result with each cycle. Whether it was education or medical care, industrial processes or agriculture, every system was designed to become less polluting and give better results year on year. It worked, of course it did. Isn't that how the natural world functions, isn't that how our own bodies work? Intelligent feedback loops are necessary to keep systems in check just like they keep our bodies a cosy 36.8 degrees Celsius.
It is no accident that it is the reptile, the snake, that symbolizes evil in our myths. For these creatures do not require love to raise their young like mammals do. As such they do not evolve an ability to feel love, only to survive. Likewise the psychopath does not feel love, they are an evolutionary throw-back to our reptilian brains, an accident of genetics. But if we do not take the threat of them seriously they will continue to dominate our world, driving us into a hellish dystopia. If we are going to beat them, we the 99%, we must recreate our systems so that “nice guys win,” not the most cut-throat and amoral. We must base all our systems on virtuous cycles or else hang our heads low and hand our children over to a system run by the very worst our species has to offer.
Psychopaths can run charities as shields for the activities they truly enjoy – causing others pain and emotional distress. They take a perverse pleasure in attaining positions of public trust and respect, they are charming and socially intelligent. They don't play by the same rule book as the rest of society and so they win with ease. No morals means no restraints. They are the wolves, but we don't have to be the sheep. We can be lions.
Karl was always the pragmatist. He'd say, "What matters with the process of saving the world is not how fast we get there, but that we keep on moving in the right direction. Of course speed is a virtue when it can be done safely, but never sacrifice the mission for just one goal. There are always other ways things can be done. We don't sacrifice the team, we win together."
It was a terrible thing that on the day that Lincoln figured out how to save the world he was run over by a freight train. The idea escaped skyward, hovering near the heavens, looking for a new mind to take root in. Eventually it found Mia, who giggled and wrote it on a coffee shop napkin, almost running out of paper before the idea was transmitted. The napkin blew in the wind until it caught on a great tree, protected from the wind and rain. And there it was found by Jojo Kidd who read it out loud to the soil and the clouds. "Peace on Earth will be achieved when our upper and lower minds hear the same messages, until then we will remain confused, unsure why we know the right things to do yet keep doing the wrong ones. Our language has many duplications of words the lower mind does not understand; it does not understand negations well either. Sing to the lower mind in metaphor, talk to the upper mind with gentle reason - your confusion will lift like early morning fog leading you on to a bright new day."
A few years before the tipping point we realized our insanity. We were so oversupplied that if all industry stopped (except agriculture) for fifty years, we'd still have all the consumer goods we needed to live a comfortable modern lifestyle. We had enough electronics, ovens, spoons, bowls, bedding, clothes in our homes and in stores all over the world to just hunker down and let our planet recover. We didn't need ninety percent of the products being produced but we were allowing ourselves to be conned into buying them and in so doing "voting" for the destruction of earth. Our obsession with "new" and "keeping up with the neighbours" was going to kill us all, ruin the planet for the generations to come. Most folks abandoned the malls and supermarkets, instead seeking out ethical products only when they had need of them. Saving the earth was our joint mission in all of our different cultures...
It was a bizarre turn of events. The world wasn't saved by the environmentalists, the scientists or an army. It wasn't saved by shaking charity collecting tins or making bold speeches. It wasn't changed by the revolutionaries or the NGO's. It's true that all those folks had an impact, without them how would we have realized the mess our planet was in?
In the end the world was saved by the shoppers. In every locality websites sprang up, often blog types made by anyone from high-school kids to housewives or retirees. Each one detailed the most ethical products to buy locally. The city and town economies thrived and local artisans were suddenly more visible.
The corporations tried to con their way onto the lists, but it was either real change or no dice. We learnt that it was simple to cut out our plastic addiction, to make our own breads, pizzas and buns. We learnt to make simple meals from scratch and cut out processed food. As a bonus our food bills dropped dramatically, often by half. People started making and selling shampoos you bought by filling your own bottle, trade and barter was common place. It made us feel good to do what was right and stick one finger up to "the man" at the same time.
Let’s move on, and don’t worry about Kitty, she’s very happy with her milk as you can see. She loves the whole milk best. We can throw yarn for her later. Alright already, stop looking at me like I’ve cracked. Let’s press on. Now take whatever sum of money you decided to kill Kitty at. Now the question is would you kill Kitty and ten other kittens for it? A hundred other kittens? A million other kittens? A hundred million kittens (and Kitty)? At some point you said no, right. I know you did. I hope you did because at some point you’ll realise the Kitty dilemma is a micro-model for the entire earth. At what price will you decide to cook the planet? For most folks right now there is no price at all, they do it for free, they pay to do it in fact with “convenience” lifestyles, but I digress again. So at some point the life of the kittens was worth more than the cash. But what about Kitty? Why wasn’t she worth saving all on her own, just for her? That’s the thing about philosophy, we have to follow ideas to their logical conclusions. If at some point life out weighed money, then it always should. If money outweighs life, then it always should, and as barbaric as that sounds, it’s where humanity has been heading for a long time.
So, from my comfortable home, filled with all kinds of shit I never should have bought, I’m going to change to world. I will. Day to day life will be boring, I’ll talk, do shopping and walk my dog, but don’t all superheroes need an alter ego? That’s what my old persona is for now, it’s my cover, my Clark Kent. The new me is the real one, but for anyone who asks it’s just fiction, a novel, maybe not even a good one. Maybe the plot will be a bit wonky, but real life doesn’t follow a that forced pattern - introduction, conflict, recommitment, crisis, climax and resolution. There will be conflict, most of it internal, in you, if you dare read on. There will be a recommitment scene when you stop fighting your own conscience. There will be a crisis when you realize the mess the planet is in isn’t fictional and start feeling helpless and almost give up, wallowing in depression for a time. Then there will be climax, when you climb out of your stupor and realize that you are the star of your own story and that all of our stories will have the same ending. So without breaking any laws, or even a sweat, we’re going to change the world, and there’s not damn thing the multinational corporations can do to stop you or me, so let’s go. I’ll leave footprints in the sand.
I’ve been waiting for, praying for, some kind of top-down change, but now I know it won’t happen that way. We’re fooling ourselves if we think it will. We’ll be watching some stupid reality show or playing computer games the moment the Earth goes past the tipping point and into an unstoppable greenhouse effect. We’ll still be being frightened by the news and placating ourselves with chemical laden junk food in pretty boxes, wrapped in plastic of course. We’ll still be chasing that lifestyle we’ve been groomed for from childhood to crave, that life equals consumption, success equals consumption. We’ll admire a system with no more morals than "rich is good" and you can do "whatever you can get away with" to accumulate more money than you can ever spend - while others starve. With no change we’ll continue to sacrifice our own children to the “daycare” system and then feel stressed when our damaged kids "act out." We won’t even stop to dwell on the fact that the number one cause of death of our minors is suicide - yes, children killing themselves. And for the record, that means our culture - the one we accept so passively - killed them. I can’t live with that, not anymore, and if you're being honest with yourself instead of swallowing the “I don’t care," " I’m too busy to care” party line, then you’ll know you can’t either.
Centralized government control is a house of cards and I’ll show you why in as few words as possible. Think about being a highschool teacher with thirty students. They don’t want to be there, they’ve been in the system too long for their liking and ahead all they see is cubicle farm monotony. And that’s if they’re lucky. Otherwise it’s serving fries with a smile or homelessness. You're the teacher, you walk in and they keep talking loud and crass like you’re not even there. You stand at the front to assume authority as the teacher training manual told you to do. You’ve been trained in the basic techniques of subduing a small population. You can see they aren’t in a mood to listen so you order them out of the room to line up. They ignore you so you get firmer. You threaten detentions, put names on the board. Nothing. Then you spot a compliant kid already starting on his work and you send him to fetch the principle. All the standard fear tactics that work so well for a classroom teacher have failed because you aren't the regular teacher, you can’t back up your threats and they know it.
The principle arrives, hush descends. One look from her and out come their books. She knows their parents, she can hurt them if they don’t comply. Suddenly these teens look more like “workers.” You feel vindicated, these "entitled brats" need to work, and you aren’t even sure anymore if you care if they succeed or not. But here’s the question. What would have happened if not only that class, but the entire school stopped working? What then? Can they all be punished, all expelled? Nope. The teachers, the controllers, use fear because they are scared too. Magnify that up to the population/government level and you see your world. Fear to coral you into being a good little consumer, buy, buy, buy. Push through that fear and it’s only freedom on the other side. Freedom to create, love, sing, dance, make things. So buy nothing you can’t really live without and you will save earth, no maybes
First day of the academy we expected weapons practice or to run an assault course, but nothing remotely like that ever happened. We had to prove we knew what love was and that we could focus on it. I thought General Adams was joking but he looked me in the eye, dead serious, "When all hell breaks loose in the field and you don't know up from down, left from right, focusing on love is the only thing that'll get you through. Now prove you know what love is or we won't trust you. We need straight arrows to save the world. If you can't fly right you'll be worse than a bomb."
Humanity put a man on the moon in 1969, makes computers tiny enough to go in a pocket and has mapped the human genome, but... we can't think of more than two flawed and extremist political systems to run the world? Why don't we fight hard to stop starvation and inequity? Why don't we innovate? Why don't we think? We have everything to gain, our planet to save. Why do we perpetually stagnate on the issues that really matter?
"When world leaders talk to one another like members of a functional family, truly serving the needs of the people they represent, humanity wins a chance to become a 'brotherhood of man.' After that we can focus on health, on wellbeing, on reducing harm to our Mother Earth year on year."
“Eve, everything you were ever taught was a lie; yet those who taught them never knew what falsehoods they peddled. Our species can only thrive with a more natural life, one in harmony with our world, with nature. Our minds are shaped by the cultures we are born into, and one that measures self worth in money, greed and power is a corruption to all, a poison. We are angels breaking out of hell, my angel, so hold on tight. We've got everything to gain – home, community, our very souls. We are kind. We are compassionate. We are brave. We love our Earth and the animals with whom we are blessed to share it with. There is food for all, water for all, shelter for all. Life is sacred, all of it. Your worth is infinite, just by existing you are loved. So we're finding ways to live better with less resources, ignore the apes who think they're in charge. Be your own leader. Think. And above all else, love.”