The Malta Independent 23 June 2018, Saturday

Make sure to feed the right wolf

Camilla Appelgren Tuesday, 22 May 2018, 08:06 Last update: about 2 months ago

There was a time when I told myself constantly that I didn't do enough, that no matter what I did for the environment, my efforts wouldn't matter. I am happy to say that those feelings seldom arise nowadays, and I doubt they will take over ever again.

Doing cleanups can be demotivating - it can make your eyes tear up and leave the mind thinking ‘why, why, why?’

However, we need to keep our eyes on the goal no matter what obstacles we find in our way. Many people today seem to have lost that ability.

The life quote used by many ‘Live for today, not tomorrow’ is often misinterpreted; it doesn’t mean that we shouldn't be thinking about what is to come. It means that we should all do our best today and focus on that, but not stop there. It means that we should always go to bed at night having a feeling that we used every single minute of that day doing what we could for ourselves and, more importantly, for the next generation.

We are slowly losing that last part; to think about the future of our children. The people at the top, and at the bottom, are taking more and more decisions to safeguard their own money and profits, unsustainable in every way. Their profit steals the wellbeing of others and this is wrong.

At first, when I started my cleanup mission, I went all in to convince politicians that this was the way forward. I also concentrated on pointing out the negative things; a photo and negative comments with the photo. The result was not was I was hoping for. Instead of going forward my mission went backwards. Anger was met with anger. Why?

The human mind always tries to take the easy way out. Being angry at a situation is by far easier than coming up with solutions. I am amazed at how some people can spend decades simply hating. Imagine if all that energy was actually used to do something productive? I am in no way saying that we should all be a happy bunch of people accepting life as it is - by now I think you know me better than that. What I am saying is that all criticism should be constructive or else it is sometimes better to remain silent, because hate feeds hate.

The more attention you give the feeling of hate, the stronger it will get. Make sure to feed the right wolf! Life becomes what we make of it. There is no other way for life to form than by our actions. Every day is a blank paper and you and I decide what shall be written.

We can lay back and let others dictate what shall be written on that paper, but don’t you ever think that you then have the rights to complain about what’s written. If you instead take command and write that paper yourselves, you have all rights reserved, and that includes giving constructive feedback.

We need to remember that we don’t serve the politicians, they serve us. Just like they have to see solutions and make long-term plans, so do the people. We have to be the change that we want to see.

Last weekend I did a cleanup in San Gwann. We emptied the valley of debris. It now looks amazing! We had an amazing group of 40 people removing 5 skips of waste from that valley. This is the amount of waste in our countryside that not many people are aware of.

We don’t have time to spare for hate, useless comments or bad mouthing. We need to visualize a clean and green Malta and just keep on going.

Some people say ‘I’m doing all this and still in decades the situation may be the same.’

Do you know what I tell them, because I am so tired of hearing this but I strongly feel that such comments need to be answered to bring awareness?

I tell them that the only way we can ensure that nothing happens in our society is by doing nothing and saying nothing. If by doing something and speaking up only gives me a 0.001% chance of change of success, I would say that it’s worth it. I will never have the feeling of ‘what if I had done it?’, because I make sure to take a stand no matter what. I too can feel that battles are lost, that doesn’t silence me, but rather do the opposite.

Do we want a clean environment and safeguard it for the generation to come? Well, then it’s time to live up to that. Don’t wait for the ones in charge of our country to take action, we are the majority and we have the power.

 

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