VIOLENT storms, floods and landslides have raised questions about our weather patterns, which were not so obvious in the past.
In the wake of this phenomenon that has wreaked havoc in various parts of the country, it is time to give serious thought to our fragile environment and what we, as responsible and caring citizens, must do to prevent further environmental degradation and disaster.
If we are not committed to do more to protect our environment, more damage will be done in view of the changing weather patterns that can bring more disaster.
Therefore, inspiring change through spiritual values for the conservation of our environment is a matter that must be given serious attention.
It aims to address ways in which communities can create a common awareness and inspire change in each community to deal with environmental issues.
Despite our hectic schedules, it is necessary to step back and ask what we need to do to deal with the future and environmental threats.
It is necessary to reflect on the fact that human beings have destroyed a lot of nature’s diversity that is needed for Earth’s stability and for future generations.
Sadly, reflection seems to be a rare activity these days. Humanity has reached the point, where, although people are crying out to conserve the environment and pursue this valiant cause in every way possible, we have come to think that it is impossible to achieve such cause because the root of the problem has not been addressed.
We complain about the pollution and we experience numerous flash floods and landslides. Yet the lessons of previous disasters have not been learnt and absorbed.
As trustee of our planet’s resources and geo-biological diversity, we must undertake to use our natural resources in a manner that ensures conservation. As trustees, we are compelled to temper our actions with moderation and balance.
Sustainable environmental conservation must not be viewed as a discretionary commitment that we weigh against other competing economic interests.
Instead, we must re-examine ourselves and our beliefs. It should be a responsibility that’s shouldered by all. We must view this as a fundamental part of our spiritual development as well as physical survival.
We must also consider that we have a common responsibility to protect this planet.
We live in this world with seven billion people. We need all the skills and knowledge of the patterns of life if we are to meet the challenge of leaving our planet in its safe and beautiful environment for future generations.
We need to move from our mindset and realise that without a change in our thinking and attitude, and without sincerity in our hearts, which is inspired by our spirituality or our Creator, we will be unable to set humanity on a path of sustainable development while protecting our shared environment.
If the human race is to meet the challenge of establishing sustainable conservation of our environment, the spiritual energy latent in each of us must be released and directed to this noble task.
Religion can provide the vision. It can inspire change in each of us and play a catalytic role to ensure that our greed and apathy do not govern our lives.
The spiritual values inculcated by all religious beliefs, such as respect, integrity, love and care, are there to help us remember that we have the capacity to be conscious of our role in this world.
We share the same home. Our lives are connected with other inhabitants.
If each and every one of us has the initiative to be mindful of our consumption, to be vigilant against polluting our environment and to inspire others to do the same, then collectively, the impact on the world shall be great.
History has an important lesson for humanity and that is, civilisation can be destroyed if it does not make peace with the environment.
Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, Kuala Lumpur