Do we still need such a day?
Most of the Universe is dead. It is not thriving with activity, it is mere matter and energy spread about in a very randomised manner. Life started when a part of this dead Universe came together so that it could do it’s own thing for a while.
Life started with a single cell. Then a few cells came together and realised they could do more together. This organisation drove up the complexity of the cell and gave it more capacity to differentiate itself from the Universe. As these cells united and changed, they got better and better at everything. New changes increased the diversity as different cells tried different forms of unity and different ways to coexist. Today we call this entire system of changes, evolution, which over time created humans as we are today.
It is funny to think how individual cells or even dead material of the universe, without any cranial capacity or intelligence decided that unity and selflessness was the best way forward for them and indeed achieved so much progress, while we, humans, who boast of being the smartest creatures and claim (incorrectly) to be the pinnacle of evolution decided that disunity and selfishness is the way to make progress in life. We made groups, tried killing each other, and constantly make others go through hell if it helps us in any way.
This selfish separatist nature has many manifestations but I want to talk about the most crucial of them all – Our separation from Mother Nature.
It seems most astonishing to me that when I say the word, ‘animal’, one might think of a lion, a wolf, maybe even a pet, but nobody ever really thinks about a human. We seem to think of ourselves as superior, even while science tells us that we are ordinary beings, living on an ordinary rock, in an ordinary corner of the Universe There is nothing special about us, apart from the fact that we seem to be only animal species which is racing towards its own annhilation.
Everybody knows our capitalistic, selfish, arrogant ideologies are flawed. Everybody knows that we are doing something wrong. Everybody knows that pollution and deforestation and global warming and the million other problems that plague us are a result of this ideology.
But the problem is, that despite our acute judgement of right and wrong, we decided that short term materialistic selfish goals are more important than acting for the greater good. The problem isn’t global warming or deforestation or anything else. It is human reluctance to act on it.
It is such issues that make the 5th of June relevant. While 26th January may instantly click as Republic Day, a national holiday, World Environment Day takes most people a bit longer to register. Maybe it’s your patriotism, maybe you love holidays. Regardless, it is still proof that people still don’t take our planet with the gravity they should.