Editor’s Note: Sunday, 22 April 2018, is International Earth Day. More than a billion people around the world will celebrate Earth Day by participating in neighborhood clean-up efforts. The grassroots movement began in 1970 when twenty million Americans took to the streets to voice their concern about the deteriorating environment, and to urge lawmakers to take action before it was too late. Now boasting over 50,000 partners in 195 countries, the Earth Day Network (EDN) is credited with instigating many environmental policies worldwide, including Clean Air Acts, Clean Water Acts, and Endangered Species Acts.
Earth Day 2018 is dedicated to one of the most significant problems facing our planet today – plastic pollution. This year’s campaign aims to reduce and, hopefully, eradicate single-use plastics such as cutlery, cups, toothbrushes, bags etc., with numerous initiatives, leading the charge to impose strict regulations for plastic disposal, and educating the general public about the health and other risks associated with the polymer.
To mark Earth Day 2018, we offer a reflection written in 1982 by the SMA Communications Officer – JEWEL OF THE UNIVERSE:
How I love you Mother Earth
JEWEL OF THE UNIVERSE.
You encourage life and sustain it.
Upon you, humankind rushes to and fro
seldom stopping to acknowledge
Your beauty or dignity.
We take the mystery of day and night
and year to year
We seldom marvel at the speed with which you spin
and the vast solar orbit you travel
resulting in the rich splendour of your seasons.
More and more
as our knowledge expands
we learn that you alone
are the only known life giver.
Our nearest neighbours
Venus and Mars
are either too hot or too cold.
Teach us Mother to love and respect you
as an infant reveres its own.
As a child is nurtured by its mother,
so too, all Earth’s children are nurtured by you.
You provide for our every need…
Physically you build us
Mentally you enrich us
Emotionally you heal us
and spiritually you are part of our essence.
As your children
teach us to share in the greatness of your generosity.
It was never your intention to care for some
while neglecting others.
You provide enough for everyone’s need
but not for everyone’s greed.
This is your most basic law of nature.
As members of your family,
teach us to love one another
as you love us,
by sharing your resources
fairly and with justice.
Your surface and your seas
are the breadbasket of all humanity.
Teach us O Mother Earth
that hunger and oppression
insult your selfless generosity.
And teach us O Mother
that no man or nation has the right
to possess your destruction.
In loving you,
may present and future generations acknowledge –
we do not inherit you from our parents…
we borrow you,
from our children.
© Don Mullan (1982) Published: World Without Violence – Can Gandhi’s Vision Become Reality? New Age International Publishers, 1994
We encourage you to watch the following short video to deepen your appreciation of what Earth Day 2018 is about: