by Yvette M. Calleiro
In our hustle and bustle,
In our go go go,
We made it a point
To slow down and meditate -
Tune in to the now,
The beauty of each moment?
If only we had slowed our lives down
To enjoy the present moment,
We’d have less people living with anxiety,
Fewer suicides and more survivors,
More productivity in our workplace
With fewer hours at the job.
What if we chose
To care about the foods we eat,
To focus on nutrients from our earth
Without pesticides or genetic modifications?
If only we had stayed away
From GMO-products and processed foods,
We’d have fewer loved ones suffering
From obesity and digestive issues
And autoimmune disorders.
What if we cared
About our fellow man and woman and child
Enough to help them find shelter
If only we had cared more about
The community as one
Instead of individualism,
We would have risen up
To find solutions for homelessness,
To help rehabilitate the hopelessness
And leave no human hungry.
What if mothers and fathers
Could spend quality time with their children,
Laughing and playing,
Nurturing and comforting,
Molding them into loving human beings?
If only we had valued the family unit,
There would be fewer broken families,
Children would grow into
Caring and confident adults,
Valuing love and laughter.
What if we chose
To heal the mind, body, and spirit
With natural remedies,
Focused on healing and curing
Instead of masking and prolonging?
If only we had focused on healing
Instead of profiting on illness,
Our immune systems would be strong,
Able to fight harder against viruses and diseases,
Our minds would be calm and serene,
Our spirit would be at peace and
In harmony with the world.
What if we cared about our planet,
Sharing the earth with
Its other living inhabitants,
Making small sacrifices
So our planet can grow and prosper
If only we had not been so selfish in our ways
And had made the necessary changes
To allow our planet to heal,
Our forests would flourish
And shelter our animals,
Our oceans would provide life and enjoyment,
And our air would be clear and breathable.
What if we changed our ways?
If only we could do something
To stop this downward spiral of catastrophes
That we have created.
When RWISA asked its members to consider the new world we are now living in, they wanted us to consider what we would have done differently to better the situation we are currently in. This led me to think about foresight and hindsight. We all have the ability to pause and wonder what the world could be if we choose to make the hard choices and work toward a better world. Similarly, once the catastrophe has happened, we can look back and realize what we did wrong.
So, I created this poem. Choose to read it line by line or read the left side in its entirety and then go back and read the right side. Either way works! 😊
So often, our leaders look back and say, “Oops!” and then just keep trudging along without righting their wrongs. We, as citizens, do the same. We have become quite comfortable in our spoiled lives. We, as a society, focus on individualism instead of community. We live in a bubble that is only concerned with how enjoyable our own little world is, forgetting that we do not live in isolation. We ignore the pleas of others to help the planet/hungry/homeless/poor because that would mean putting effort or perhaps making sacrifices, and who wants to give up the luxuries that they have become accustomed to?
And so it goes. Our current path is not sustainable. If we are to survive and thrive, we must put the planet and all who encompass it as our priority. We need to make changes/sacrifices to flourish. Just look at what the past month or two of stay-at-home orders has done for our planet. Endangered turtles are being born and surviving. The peaks of the Himalayan mountains can be seen in India for the first time in decades. Pollution levels have shown a decrease in nitrogen dioxide over China. The waterways in Venice are crystal-clear and fish can be seen swimming in the canals. The signs are everywhere.
Can anyone still doubt that humans and our ways have hurt our environment and will continue to hurt our planet unless we make serious changes to our ways of life? How many businesses are realizing that their workers can actually do their jobs from home? That one change can cut back on car emissions, stress, and other pollutions. I don’t have all the solutions, but maybe it’s time that we, as a society, start to use our foresight to change our world for the better.