My latest reflection on sustainability came to me in the metaphor of a dysfunctional home where every member is stuck inside with every other. We no longer live in harmony with each other. There is nowhere for anyone to escape, insulate or be free from the others. We have become too many in this ever shrinking house. The personal space we once had is gone.
We can no longer trash the place without creating complaints and smelling the waste we leave behind. We can no longer say “this is my place and if you don’t like it get out of here”. It is no longer our own place but everyone’s, and as such we must learn to share it no matter our differences or dramas.
We are divided on Earth in the same way a family is divided. We wished but cannot afford to put order the way we would like; we bite our tongue and hit the table to channel the outrage of injustice and avoid fighting; we exert self-restraint because without it, we will have an all-out war we will all regret and will ultimately assure our collective destruction.
We must learn to live with all of our family members despite our countless irreconcilable differences. Nature gave us a single tiny oasis where we could safely inhabit in a vast but hostile universe. If we have overpopulated it and trashed it and we no longer can bear one another, it is solely our problem. We must step up to the plate and create harmony whatever it takes to ensure we will keep the most precious side of our existence, our HOME.
For those who may find not this post is not objective enough I should point out the etymology of the word ecology. Created by German zoologist Ernst Haeckel, his original term was Ökologie which derived from the Greek oikos “house, dwelling place, habitation” and logia “study of”. Ecology thus became the branch of science dealing with the relationship of living things to their environments.