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clapping the nhs Earth Day Earth Week gifts

Earth Week

Pink cherry blossom tree outside Diane Woodrow's living room window
This is the view I had this morning from my living room window as I did my yoga. The cherry tree is back in bloom

I was very excited to learn that this week is Earth Week. Although, as someone else said, I’m not sure why it isn’t Earth Week every week because the earth is just amazing. But then I also don’t understand why we have to have a Women’s history month or a Black history month. Why aren’t these just history that we learn? But that’s for another blog!!

The Earth is amazing – however you believe it came into being. Without the Earth we would not be here. Everything we do comes from/about/because of the Earth. Even the things we call “man-made” come from things that were part of the Earth already; from the food we eat to the minerals that go into our mobile phones.

Everything comes from the Earth.

So I suppose we do need a special week and even a special day to celebrate it. It’s like I’m amazing all the time, and getting older all the time, but I still need a birthday when people can tell me how awesome I am. And I need my friends and family to have birthdays so I can tell them how awesome they are. But what do you give to the Earth that has everything? Everything I give to the Earth will have come from the Earth, which I suppose is a bit like the little kid who is given money by their parents to buy their parents’ birthday and Christmas present.

I remember when my kids were little I actually much preferred it when they did some special deed or act for me rather than bought me something. I felt it meant they knew who I was in a deeper way. But then my love language is quality time so for me those deeds and acts meant special time together. Even now, much as I love those special presents that are things I really would love but think are too extravagant to buy, I still enjoy that special doing more; that thinking of a place I’d like to go, doing a chore that I don’t like, planning something for me. My bestest birthdays have been when I’ve had both my kids with me and my husband. Quality time! But I digress.

So thinking of the kind deeds and acts I like throughout the year got me wondering about what to give the Earth. The Earth is something we treat so badly. We abuse it. We take and take and so rarely give back. We praise man-made things but forget they came from the Earth’s resources. We even badmouth the Earth when disasters happen like earthquakes, floods, landslides, etc. And we even talk of leaving the Earth and going to live on the Moon or Mars. We only have to do that because of the awful way we have treated the Earth.

So what can we do for the Earth week and especially on Earth Day? There are lots of resources on Godspace’s pages. But I think one of the most important things we could is to remember how important the Earth is to us . Maybe we should go out and, as we clapped the NHS here in the UK at the start of the lockdown last year, maybe we should all go out at 8pm on Earth Day, Thursday 22nd April, and give the Earth a great big clap and cheer. Let us remember that without it we would not be here.

Maybe we could do more than just clap and cheer. Maybe, just maybe we could start respecting it?

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Clapping the NHS

aplauding nhsInteresting times we are living in when many in the neighbourhood go out on their doorsteps at the same time every week to clap people who are not there. I’m not knocking those who do it but for me it is strange. I think the NHS are doing an amazing job and I worry about people I know who are having to be in there dealing with it all; friends, family and acquaintances. A sister-in-law, an NHS worker, has caught Covid-19, though thankfully only mildly and as yet none of her family are exhibiting signs. A friend’s cousin, also an NHS worker, had it mildly but then her husband caught it and is in intensive care. So yes I think they are doing a great job and should be respected and applauded. So I send them messages, tell them I am thinking about them, etc. But I do not go out and do the clapping. But that is because I don’t get it. But then I also do get many of these grand public outpourings.

But what got to me most of all was a local historic castle has very publicly put blue lights on its façade when the clapping was going on, made sure it was on all their social media that they had done things, emailed all their supporters. The emails had a donations button at the end but this was for the monument’s fund raising not the NHS raising. But also this place has made sure all its parklands are locked so no one can walk through them. Thankfully there are lots of other places to walk but I just wondered if a good public gesture would have been to open its parklands to give people more space to walk. Some who might even be those NHS workers who they are illuminating their building to support.

But this got me thinking about how we, and I include myself in this, make big open public gestures but don’t do the little things that will help. So how many people clapping, or even giving to the amazing people like Captain Tom to raise money to support the NHS, will be willing to have their taxes increased to support not just an improvement in the NHS but also to support all those who are on furlough, to improve our schools, our bin services, etc, etc etc. How many people who are in management in these sectors find it easier to clap than to take a pay cut so those below them could have a pay rise? How many are finding time to support local business? Not just now when we’re thinking about it but after this is over?

So I do applaud those who go outside to applaud the NHS, but I also applaud those who are key workers in other areas, but also those who are sticking to the rules and staying at home. But I do wonder what things will change when this is all over or will we just want it all to go back to normal without having to pay for it, make changes, or even look at what is wrong in this world to have brought things to this point. And by this point I don’t just mean this pandemic but a struggling NHS, an overly polluted planet, etc, etc etc.