Timber...or living forests?


Progress Namibia - Timber...or living forests?
15 May 2019

My language is vastly unable to express how I feel about what we, humans, are doing to our home, our fellow Earthlings. The depth, the sadness, the anxiety, the depression - these words are not enough. I am unable to explain the interconnectedness of every living being, the fact that we are all made of the same material, have evolved together, and depend on each other for our life. Life would not exist on this planet without all the different life forms. Our air. Our clean water. Our soil. All living. We live because trees live. The way we hold dominion over "resources" (this word alone is just a reflection of how our language is dominated and limited by this worldview...) shows how immature we are as a species. How we live and act like a parasite on this planet. Dragging almost all our kin with us as we dig ourselves into extinction. Seeing the suffering we cause because of the kind of humanity we have created causes a feeling inside me where I feel connected to this suffering, like seeing life suffer because of us makes me suffer. Yesterday, one my of favorite people shared a quote with me:

Technology is destructive only in the hands of people who do not realize that they are one and the same process as the universe. - Alan Watts.

It resonated deeply.

I speak of all of this because these feelings are conjured up in me when I read and see the things going on with the annihilation of forests of more than 100-year old trees in my own country. What are we doing? We call it timber only because our economy says that unless we turn the forest into a commodity, they have no value to us. Even if people have been living in and off these forests for generations. Sustainably. There is no such thing as sustainability in the way we treat the world. We value nothing of meaning, and everything of nothing. We forget that the land does not belong to us. We belong to the land.

On this past Saturday, a peaceful protest was organised by NEWS, where fellow Namibians took a stand to protect our forests from the annihilation. People like these, and like Greta Thunberg, are the ones who remind us of the wrong direction we are taking. The unnecessary direction - not only is it not helping us in any way, it is destroying us in every way.

Can we realign with our roots? Give meaning again to the word "humanity"? And rebuild a society where we do not destroy our home and each other in the quest for a few rich humans?

Photo: Peaceful protest against illegal timber harvesting in Namibia in Windhoek on Saturday, 10 May 2019. Image Source: Reinhold Mangundu, 10 May 2019