Jakey (aka Si Jakeman, aka Shyman) is another great guy I met on Twitter. Probably via Hen, if I recall. We don’t chat a lot but we have the odd exchange on shamanism, on dreams, on the earth, on deep ecology, on the concept of the 100th monkey. J I love his open heart and mind, his enthusiasm, his huge desire for understanding, his respect for the world and everything in it, his total lack of ego. I also share his frustration that people just don’t open their eyes and see what we’re doing to this beautiful world of ours.
Anyhow, the other day it popped into my head that I’d ask him to do a guest post for the blog. And he said, sure, what do you want me to write about? And I said, how about How to Save the World? And he said, Crikey, is that all? And he laughed and said he’d go away (probably to his allotment) and think about it. And this is what he said…
“HOW TO SAVE THE WORLD?
Sounds like something you would ask Flash Gordon, James Bond, Superman or Wonderwoman to
help out with. Arctic melting, floods, Trees being cut down in the Amazon; Animals and Birds facing
extinction, overfishing and bees dying. You know the drill.
You’ve been preached to and teached to over the years. We’re all aware of the problems the world
faces. The trouble is, it all seems so separated from our everyday thoughts. We are all on an
increasing speeding treadmill trying to keep plates spinning as we juggle our busy lives.
There is so much information coming from different directions, the little voices in the wilderness are
often drowned out by views from others with more power and greed-biased agendas.
We are in strange times at the moment. Economic and social collapse seem to be heading towards
us like a huge tidal wave, which our politicians are obsessed with controlling, like King Canute (even
though he was actually showing that even a King couldn't control nature.) - it always seems like we
are on the verge of impending doom, a new fear factor. The trouble is, it makes us hide away our
A few years ago, on a spring morning, I was pondering all this mess. In a split second of clarity I
realised none of this really mattered. Just out of the blue, I noticed I was not outside but in and
amongst nature. Bees buzzing, Birds singing, Trees about to burst back into leaf and clouds racing
across the sky.
I just realised it was all Interconnected and I was part of it all too… not in a tree hugging or a
religious way…more of a smelling the coffee kind of way. As a child of the 70’s/80’s, a scout,
a cross-country runner, I grew up outside. My dad always taught us names of Butterflies, Birds
and Trees; looking at the Stars etc. My grandad grew fruit and veg and my godfather’s family
even owned a farm… It all just flew into place. As kids, my generation was always outside,
the kids that stayed in were the strange ones. I started thinking about how could we expect
the next generation to protect nature, if they didn’t know it?
While our politicians were banging on about Economics and Society…I was thinking that the
environment was the keystone that held them together. I wanted to play my small part in
changing attitudes towards it. As a frontline Firefighter for nearly 20 years, I’ve been one of
the bods in the boat evacuating people from flooded houses; I’ve chased wildfires through the
woods and picked up the pieces of storm damage. I’ve stared natural disasters in the eye.
It all seems a bit personal. I wanted to do my little bit in slowing this, but how?
An idea of growing a bit of locally grown fruit and veg with family friends and neighbours was the
start, a way of getting everyone back outside, meeting the odd Bird, Bee, and Bug along the way
and reconnecting with nature. I even started growing a small amount of food at work on the
fire station roof, and eventually became a green champion. Turning the odd light off, recycling,
getting a cycle rack installed etc., etc. - all little actions slowly adding up to make a change. Even
by putting recycling bins and a few signs in the right place has made a difference.
I’m now studying for an Environment Studies degree so I can get more informed. I’ve never
preached to anyone, just tried to set a quiet example. It’s amazing how many people have come
on board in their own time…
It’s been about planting little seeds so people change without knowing.
People hate being told what to do, especially about how to save the world. But if everyone could
just be mindful that everything is Interconnected… things will change. Even if it’s not taking a
plastic bag to carry bread and milk in, on the way home from work. If you think about it they’re
already in containers.
Every little action counts: a marathon starts with one small step.
So… How do you save the world? Well I’m not sure… but I know there are heroes with
thousands of different faces..
Thanks for listening…….laters.”
Huge thanks, Jakey!
Check out Jakey’s website here – and then, well…it’s up to you. J
Also check out these sites he recommends…
Take a look at what Todmorden is doing...