Sunday 24 August 2014

AoC SA Saturday Two Rivers Public Intervention 23 August 2014 CT SA.

My question was about how to encourage other people to care for the environment.  It has to be about awareness.  We can't and shouldn't force people to do anything they don't want to do.  Maybe we can find ways of helping people to do things they most enjoy?  WE can make people aware of all of the things that are happening, and the things they can participate in, and see what appeals to them.  We can tell people about Agents of Change, and people can share how they want to help and make things better.  We have a choice to try and help, but if things go on with pollution the people to come won't have the same choices we do, and so we have a responsibility to them too.

I feel that not many people are aware of what's happening with their environment and that they aren't aware because no one is talking to them about it.  I also think that people think that if we throw away one piece of paper, it won't do too much harm to the world.  But the thing is that many people are doing that , and not only one piece of paper, its wrappers and unfinished food, tins, plastic and things which are not biodegradable.  I don't think people realize that if they keep doing what they are doing, it will result in bad things in the future.  If people used the skills they have have towards a better, more environmentally friendly technology, the world could be a better place.  If we become a bit more interactive with one another and have conversations in person with people, talking to your friends about things that really matter, like disease and pollution and poverty, then it will help.

The question that I asked myself was why do I not do enough things outside of the house, rather than just sit in all day and my answer was that I am a bit tired at the end of the day and all I want to do is relax.  By relaxing I get  bit lazy, and while being lazy is nice, instead of me lying in bed and watching TV all day, I could be helping .  I think talking to people, and particularly children about being more eco-friendly is important for the future of the earth.

I'm learning that imagination is our true power in the world.  It comes from inner guidance, and it shapes action.  Much of my early work focused on social justice.  As I see how heritage, story telling and environment are deeply connected, and how development, environmental degradation and what it means to be a person are deeply intertwined, I know that we cannot forget about earth, nature and the life around us while working towards social justice.  Instead of focusing on development, it is perhaps time to see that there has been too much development, and it is time to use imagination, inner guidance and the energy and freedom that brings to shape new actions.  This ability to contribute and share is what I now see to be the meaning of freedom.  Civil society has a great deal of power when it comes to shaping a more just world.  Although there is a lot of discussion about political will, I think empowerment comes from within.  Imagination shapes possibility, and possibility brings freedom and new ways of being within the world.

Spreading the Agents of Change work is more possible now than in previous decades or ages.  Cyber-technology is available to all at very low cost and allows almost anyone a voice to be heard.  Gone are the days of only the most powerful voices in the news.  Many, many voices, not only those of big industry and corporations can be heard.  The concerns of the public in the work Agents of Change is doing can be shared between like minded people.  Groups that have similar concerns, eg bird sanctuaries, SANCOB, the fishing sector and wetland groups could also contribute.

The bigger the support, the bigger the attention and search for insights to the concerns, the more possibilities we have, and the more making productive change becomes possible.  Creating change in a way that is not fanatical, but means going out and creating a contribution means bringing possibility and awareness to life.

I think that making people aware of what will happen if we don't start taking care of the planet and not taking advantage of it could make a large difference in the world.  Making children and teenagers aware of it is a good way to be more responsible and maybe create a better future for future generations.

Public questions:

When the water level rises, what will happen to the Cape Flats, and all of the poor people who live there?

What about our children?  It is very likely that our children will still be alive when the water level increases.  Will people be okay?  We have to create a better world for our children.

With much thanks and appreciation to the whole group and Nicci Attfield for facilitating.
Photos by Scott Attfield.

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