Environment, Essay, Society

This is Our Earth

Commemorating the Earth Day, here is an essay I had written for a National-level competition, keeping in mind Robert Swan’s veracious statement – ‘The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it’. 

It has become a commonplace to say that we live in an age of comfort, advancement and ease, in a progressive enclosure. I, feel differently. It is a paradox of sorts. I agree that the scientific explosion we have encountered has unintentionally given us a divine right to transform our physical and social environment, and ourselves to forms we deem best. However, what we have deemed best is not necessarily the best, and we refuse to refute our assumptions.

We are living in a world that owns great problems and greater consequences. Population explosion, an unequal distribution of resources, poverty, nuclear power, an alarming dominance of wealthy conglomerates, irrational fundamentalism and a host of environmental miscarriages – pollution, climate change,  peak oil, water crisis, loss of biodiversity, deforestation and an unlisted many more. But the greatest threat of all this is our belief that someone else will save our world. It is a cultural problem that we have – to know them, not to address them but choose to remain indifferent.

We are creating an environmental and social imbalance, and are ignorant of it because we have shut down our inner conscience. We are not helpless, but are convictionless. By gradually becoming opaque, we are not only keeping our world at abeyance, but are allowing it to decay into a depraved and degenerated society.

The reasons for this are many. Primarily it is in our social culture. Religion, for instance gives us cues. I have more than once heard people reassuring me that when all evil amounts to an unbearable level, then an incarnation of the Supreme Power shall tread this earth to save it. And we keep waiting. But, there is a God in us – our conscience. Where has it gone?

Our art, literature and cinema, instead of enabling us to recognize the plight of our times and try to change it, jettison from nowhere a superhero with superhuman powers, who comes right in time to save us from black waters.  Even our local and regional art supports an idea of glorification of a single person solving all problems of his neighbourhood!

Also in recent times, a campaign of personal satisfaction has begun. We are told that we can be happy and content, no matter what is happening to and around us. This has led to a general agreement that one can look away from the havoc and remain complacent.

For the most part, our social milieu is also constructed on such thinking lines. We depend upon one member of the family to take complete responsibility. We run away from making important decisions and leave it to the chosen one. We fear risks.  We want to see change, but live callously.

Any problem, small or large, we point our fingers at the government, and the people who enable its functioning. But as ourselves, we have no inner discipline, no thoughtfulness. Most of us always refer to this planet in third person, as if it is not ours to protect. We do not want to participate in even the small changes we are capable of.

With nature, we have been playing, for centuries. What if one day, it turns back at us, in a crushing role–reversal? As heartfully forgiving it is today, as fiercely beastly it can be tomorrow. And we are fragile creatures. A researched prediction states a ten percent decrease in biodiversity due to climate change. Such a prospect must have terrified us. But, I see we are not affected at all. What does this mean? That these problems have yet not entered our daily lives, politics, essays and ways. This is changing and for the better, because if we do not even acknowledge the problems that we are having and nod our head to the fact that these problems can surmount to catastrophes, we already fail to find a solution.

Thinking about it, our modern inclinations in fashion, engineering, medicine, architecture, etc are delinked from being a part of the solution to the problems of the world. We human beings are vehicles of geological and emotional change. It is in our hands to lead the change – to either the better, or the worse. Our practices, hence, need serious revision.

Reducing our consumption levels, for example. Our familiarity with high-consumption lifestyles has blinded us to the destruction we are causing – we simply want to preserve what we have, no matter what. A moral change threatens us.

This cannot be solved at a personal level. It needs collective action, which now seems to be in exile, sent to by our penchant for isolation within the vastness. Our cocoon of comfort, despite its loveliness is insubstantial.

All this is because we are unaware of our mighty power. A complete realm of life has gone unaddressed – the domain of feelings inside us. Most of us have very little feeling about anything. This thwarts our thoughtfulness and conscience. We have to open up. Feel the tunes, and harness the immense human power we have. We will then realize our negligence and act. Until when will we wait for someone else to come and save us? We are our own saviours. This is our Earth. As sensible and sensitive individuals, we must take measures to create a better place for living, and this individual change, must metamorphose into a collective force. That is possible by being aware, by feeling love, by holding on to our natural and spontaneous desire for civilization.

I may have refrained from resolutions is this essay, but am alive to the native possibilities of the human spirit. By investing dreams, thoughts and feelings to words, I yearn to move forward from this atypical ignorance. I believe I have just taken the first step.


15 thoughts on “This is Our Earth

  1. Uma Jaisimha says:

    Well written.Only the sensitive can appreciate the plight of Mother Earth.Though we say that we have solutions to every problem, we don’t solve any. I t is always an academic discussion and rhetoric.Theories , hypothesis but no formula to tide over the problem. There is dichotomy between thought and action. We have yes men who follow the bandwagon.Who is to bell the cat is the cliche. We are always waiting for someone to take the onus.Entrusted with duties with no responsibility.!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Arjun Srivatsa says:

    Uma mam very rightly said..

    Vignesh, you have really made rhetorical approach to this thought of saving ​our MOTHER EARTH.
    We humans have just developed the habit of “Talking BIG” but, not acting upon our words!!

    This essay would surely knock and open the closed doors and windows of the human heart and mind , bringing in the question –
    What is going to SAVE this planet ,OUR WORDS OR ACTIONS?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Harsha A says:

    This, is what it is!

    The situation of today aptly written. I only hope people like us and from all facets of life, realise the difference between fact and fiction. There is no “HERO” nor is there a “VILLAIN” it is we who play them both in our world. We all only talk and give good presentations of saving Earth! But the question in the first place is: Why we brought ourselves to a situation where we must save it? Was it not our fault of harming something so hospitable ? ……… Then we discuss, debate, direct solutions for something that wouldn’t have existed in the first place.
    Finally, Vighnesh on the piece you have written, it is the best way someone could remind people the facts! The continuity and flow in your articles is what amazes me everytime.( I have said this to you plenty of times).


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Adarsh S. says:

    When we face a tough situation, our first instinct is not to try and resolve it but to deny and procrastinate. Today, Not everyone recognises the plight of nature. There are still people who genuinely believe that climate change is a hoax and that we can continue to exploit our nature resources for as long as we can without facing a severe backlash.
    When one fails to even accept that there is a problem, you can’t expect him to work for a solution.

    So yes, the world is in a bad place today. It will probably be much worse tomorrow due to our ignorance and apathy.

    But I still have hope.
    As the problem grows bigger, more people are affected by it and more people are accepting that there is a serious problem that needs their time and effort.
    Every generation is better than it’s predecessor. They maybe of the same species, but they will be better. They will have more of their ansestors’ strengths and fewer of their weaknesses. As grim as the situation may seem now, we will solve every single problem out there that threatens the existence of our species.

    There is lot that needs to be done.
    We will do all of it.
    Not like we have another​ option!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Deepak Kavoor says:

    Wow Vighnesh. Simply wow. Rather than saying “these solutions have to be implemented”, you said that the solutions obviously exist, but are there dedicated people ready to implement them?
    I’m really proud of you. The fact that without professional training, you, at this age, are able to write such amazing things, is fantastic!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. An irrational conception of ‘intellectual freedom’, which has developed in the modern era, has lead to the intellectual fragmentation of the society and the exploitation of all that could be exploited. This has added to our inability to orient ourselves for any ‘Great cause’ as it is increasingly becoming difficult to achieve common interest. The ‘loss of identity’ is an undraining source of fear which is a major obstacle in unifying people to take collective efforts.
    The ‘Great cause’ happens to be the preservation of the natural balance of our earth and it really needs collective efforts as you have rightly noticed. It needs people like you to achieve that by bringing people together through your writing. Your essay brings the feeling that something needs to be done. This is the success of any writing. Well written Vighnesh! Keep writing to inspire people.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Siri Hampapur says:

    Well done with this article, it’s really well written Vighnesh! So proud of you!

    To raise more awareness you could give more examples of how to implement a sustainable lifestyle. For example being vegan or even vegetarian uses less land and less of earths resources, because meat and dairy farms are one of the largest contributors to rising CO2 levels in the air!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Ramya Krishna says:

    I liked it !

    I completely agree with you . It cannot be solved at an individual level , it needs a collective approach .
    But that is possible only when this issue reaches more people , and they accept it . That’s what will lead them to work towards it .
    As you said , this is the first step .
    People also need to know what they can do to try and solve this issue .

    There are many people who are not even aware of it , a greater number of people who did not get affected by it yet , and an even greater number of people who don’t want to accept the problem and do something about it .

    This problem (more like a threat) needs to reach more people .

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Veena Ramesh says:

    Hello Vighnesh! I know you to be typically aware of this ‘atypical ignorance’, and the honesty with which you seethe exasperation at people’s opaqueness to transparent reason is all too evident in this well-written article.
    We are indeed not only in isolation within vastness, but we have the audacity to subordinate vastness to our isolation. But we forget that isolated assumptions add up to the distortion of the vast. Everything falls out of tune.

    When u mentioned the exceeding levels of consumption you just gave a hint at solutions, which are a sad galore, but your main purpose in the essay seems to have been a resounding slap in the face of that cold demon we all are possessed with: complacency.
    The essay is not just sharp but is also full of beautiful expressions. I am very proud of you.
    God bless, dear one.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Srikanth Seshagiri says:

    I liked the way you have given voice to the angst in you about the issue. Some I liked the way you have given voice to the angst in you about the issue. Some comments- Governments have tried to force some semblance of accountability into the way the public behaves on this issues in micro and macro scales-there are laws in place that protect and give credibility to the attempts to save and safeguards. Since you are so passionate about it, I will ask you to look up the canons of environmental protection. There is s concept of ‘in loco parentis’ that we are exhorted to practice in these canons which could be interesting to understand how it is articulated for the purpose of implementation. There is also a concept termed ‘sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas principle’, which is pretty ancient in origins (Roman)-it kind of gives us the historicity of *Western thought*as regards protecting our environs. So much so for public policy. I am a big votary of self policing – a society that requires no external strictures and is self regulated when it comes to safeguarding it’s own environs is the best bet for an enduring, sustained approach to being in balance with our environs. Lastly, I would ask you reconsider your usage of the word ‘jettison’ in the write up, sounded a bit jarring. Other wise I am in awe of what you write, kudos, keep writing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Saai Arathy Ravi kumar says:

    Wow!! Vignesha, superb n well said. Very proud of u . U r a professional writer already.
    Very apt writing for the present situation. Great Work. Keep it going n inspiring all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

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