Coronavirus makes the UN official date even more significant
In 2020, on the planet Earth there were 7.8 billion people. A number that, as a consequence of an economic system based on uncontrolled exploitation of natural resources, results in a planet destroyed more and more each day through the actions of humankind.
On Earth’s Day, we have selected some impressive images of our planet by courtesy of @planet_sacrednature
Today, on April 22, the International Day of Mother Earth suggests to reflect upon the human relationship with the environment, it being the official date formalized by the United Nations (UN).
The climate crisis, among many other problems triggered by the unthinking actions of humanity on the face of the Earth, is a reality, and its effects are responsible not only for the annihilation of species of fauna and flora and the destruction of their habitats, but also for the complete change in the ways of life and survival of groups of vulnerable people.
Indigenous peoples, small farmers, quilombola communities, extractive and many other segments of traditional communities, through the richness of their knowledge and customs, establish better relations with the environment where they live. They develop technologies and personal knowledge about the soils, the vegetation, the animals, and the water, without destroying the biomasses, co-existing harmoniously with the environment. The areas where they live are extremely well preserved, but are considered backward by the conventional system.
This conventional system proclaims a separatist concept that disassociates human beings from nature and creates the false understanding that natural resources are infinite, which is the cause of disasters that can be read of in the news every day.
More than inviting us to have a harmonious relationship with nature, the date shows us that it is necessary for humanity to recognize itself as a natural being. In this way, maybe we can start to nurture and develop beneficial relationships with the Kingdoms of Nature with which we share our home – the Planet Earth – our ‘Common Home.’
Pandemic and change
The pandemic of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is ravaging the world and clearly shows us that we do not have control over nature and that it impacts everybody, regardless of ethnicity or social class.
The virus forces us to perceive something simple, well understood by the other Kingdoms: we are not alone on the planet. We are in constant connection and exchange with other beings – be they human or not- in interdependent relationships.
“At this moment, humanity is experiencing an awakening through the pandemic we are going through, where we, as human beings, had to radically change our way of living. Having to remain quietly at home forced us to see things we didn’t want to see,” affirms Mother María Shimani de Montserrat, a consecrated monk of the Grace Mercy Order and one of the founders of the Fraternity – International Humanitarian Federation (FIHF).
“Nature is also showing us that without us humans being all over the place, she can breathe, recover, be renewed, and in some cases, reacquire her harmony and her balance,” says the monk.
Mother María Shimani explains that the key to change is the respect and gratitude for the Earth, a living organism that so generously gives us shelter. “If we respect it and unite with its cycles, everything will be well and we will enjoy an abundant and wonderful planet, where it had always been foreseen that each living being would have a place, where nothing is lacking,” she says. If on the other hand, we come out of the pandemic and perpetuate the systematic exploitation and destruction, Creation will remind us again that we are not grateful. “That is the worst failure that humans have committed within Creation, the result of our ignorance.”
“What is important is to know what we are going to do from now on. Are we going to go back to the life we were living? Where will we place in our consciousness what we saw and learned, what we have reflected upon? Are we going to put fear aside and set responsibility in its place?,” the Mother invites us to reflect.