On ownership and stewardship.

A Sky View of Earth From Suomi NPP

Image: NASA via wikimedia

A recent trailer for a BBC programme about our planet included a soundbite which struck me so much I wrote it down:

“This is our home but its not our planet, we don’t own it”

In the context of the political discourse on borders, “taking back control” and wall building threats this is a good time to be reminding each other of the simple statement above.

As children, my Dad used to tease us when we fought over who owned a toy we wanted to play with. Dad would say:

“What’s yours is mine and what’s mine’s my own”

We would soon agree that this was ridiculous and that through sharing we each had more. I think he taught us well, he grew up in a poor family with many brothers and sisters. We grew up not caring much for material goods, caring more for each other. Eventually!

Those who have the privilege of leadership must take note:

  • we own nothing more than the responsibility to care for others,
  • we are responsible in our lifetime for the future of those who follow us,
  • we are stewards of the planet which supports our life and all we care for,
  • greed, selfishness, oppression, ignorance, intolerance will not end well.

Those who do understand how we can best care for our planet are worried that our political leaders are not listening, preferring instead to believe in short term gains over longer term stewardship. I stand with our scientists around the world, I support the work they do to create knowledge and help us better understand what we must do to be the best version of ourselves as stewards of the future.

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