Sometimes it can be demoralising watching events unfold. War, famine and greed seem endemic and gloomy news ever present in the media; brinkmanship over Iran’s nuclear programme, economic collapse in Zimbabwe, human rights abuses in Sudan, melting ice caps, terrorism, population growth, species extinction, religious facism, deforestation, etc…the list goes on.
For some, there is no solution – it’s in our make-up as humans to self-destruct and we’re on a course with catastrophe. For others, global warming is a myth and part of a ‘natural’ cycle, an excuse for governments to raise green taxes and science will get us out of the mess we’re in. These two groups are characterised by a combination of apathy, denial and disinterest.
Finally, there are a group of people who see something wrong and try to do something about it. These are the people with conviction and a sense of moral duty, committed to making a contribution despite cynicism and carping. Their reward is not financial or profit-driven – they are driven by selflessness and knowing that they are making some contribution, however small or seemingly insignificant. As David Attenborough has said: “If my grandchildren thought of me when they looked at the desolation that has overcome great patches of the earth and thought, ‘He knew what was happening but he did nothing about it’, I would feel deeply, deeply ashamed of myself.” Moral conviction is worth more than anything.