Today is the 50th Anniversary of the UN’s International Mother Earth Day.
The brainchild of the American Senator Gaylord Nelson in 1970, who himself was moved by the student protests of the 1960’s at the rise and objection to industrial pollution in the environment. These protests and rallies by activists created the first environmental groups, notably organisations Friends of the Earth in 1968 and Greenpeace in 1970 amongst others. The irony is not lost on us that on this 50th birthday, that the country that initiated this vision is the greatest pollutant and denies the facts of the changing environment and climate change, when really they should be the global guardians of it.
Today as we sit at home with the reality check that a virus can break down all of our 21st century cleverness and sophisticated economic systems and as leave the smartest minds to ponder possible solutions; we have noticed a few things like the sound of birds singing in the morning, the clearness of the blue sky and how wonderful a sharp intake of breath can be when the reward is clean air. London has never smelt so clean and looked so green. Even the sunshine feels like a welcomed old friend, when she touches your skin in the one hour you have with her outside during this lock-down. All this reminds us is that as human beings we are a lot more basic and simple than we thought.
We are now firmly in the hands of scientists to guide us past this invisible terrorist and to come up with solutions that no defense or armaments spending could have protected us from, but maybe acknowledged investment into science and healthcare could have, just saying. It is the same scientists that have been telling us for years that we are ruining the earth, maybe we should be seriously listening to them. The take away from this, when we eventually emerge into the new normal could be that as business leaders we could write into our company policies how we as organisations, proactively give back to the earth, it’s not as unreasonable as it sounds. We should not only be using but proactively supporting the flourishing of our greater environment, there is your 'Wellbeing' Policy right there!
In addition is to support those scientists and general people in the caring professions that actively look after the rest of us when we are at these low points, this is not an 'act of kindness' like charity or 'corporate social responsibility,' it is basic human decency and a moral obligation, there in lies the 'Ethical Strategy' that will underpin your new old business. Let’s not stop and forget this when we get back into the 'soup of the city' and get consumed with the 'crapola' that awaits us. After all what have we discovered, that a walk in the park or appreciating the wind on our face is a beautiful free gift that we have taken for granted until now, let’s not take those people for granted either.