The Malta Independent 21 February 2019, Thursday

Trees of hope in the kingdom of greed

Camilla Appelgren Tuesday, 22 January 2019, 08:53 Last update: about 30 days ago

I'm sitting on the sofa scrolling through the photos from last weekend. It was an amazing weekend in so many ways. I met wonderful people and had so many interesting discussions, yet there was something sad in those photos. The fatigue hit me and it is hard to explain the feeling of despair, how the emotions can physically make you want to lay down on the floor and just say “I give up.”

Trying to increase awareness on sustainability in a world where materialism is King is an uphill battle. I've been running up that hill for seven years now. I never looked back, never gave up, no matter how many tears I shed and no matter how tired I felt. I was, am and always will be a person that strives to move forward and if I set a target to do something I will rather die trying than give up.

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Giving up is never an option.

This weekend, I realised that we might have to leave this world knowing that our children will have to be the ones to cross the finish line of the race of a sustainable environment. I ask you now to not jump to the conclusion that I am giving up or saying that there is no hope.

Because what I am about to say is far from just that.

I am brought up in a secular country but always had the greatest respect for religions and culture. A very kind hearted person sent me a prayer once when I was feeling down and I would rather quote it in full, since it concludes my vision of environment work very well.

“We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith.

No confession brings perfection.

No pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the church's mission.

No set of goals and objectives includes everything.

This is what we are about.

We plant the seeds that one day will grow.

We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realising that. This enables us to do something, and to do it very well. It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way,
an opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.”

I will take a break for a day and then my work continues. I'm in the middle of the uphill struggle, on my way to the goal. There is no other way for me than full speed forward and a few stops to gather energy on the way.

What is the meaning of life? It might be hard question to answer. However, I am quite sure that the meaning of life is not to take and not give; it is not to take more than you can and leave nothing for the future generations.

I stand firm in my view that the day we die, no one will remember us for the amount of money we had in our bank accounts. People are remembered for doing things that have a long lasting impact in society, for not being selfish.

It’s so easy to throw harsh words around and point out everything that is bad. It is much harder to get your hands dirty and go out on the field and deal with it and come up with solutions and praise the ones who doing well, even if you are not always on the same line. We lack empowerment in our society and it’s time to bring that back, starting today.

Seeing the photos of my children playing at the beach in Gnejna and washing micro plastic in the little stream that the rain created made me emotional.

I asked myself if we actually will sort this out before it’s time for us to leave this world. I might never find the answer to it, but I know one thing: I will leave this world knowing that I did my part and that I influenced many of the children of the society to keep up the fight.

They will be the heroes. We are the supporters.

We just planted the seeds of hope. They will be the ones enjoying the fruit of that tree.

 

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