THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS

I received this text from one of my students and find that it perfectly illustrates our blinkered outlook on the world. Some time ago I wrote several articles about our life on this earth and the state our planet is in (Life on earth in danger; The food pyramid, The past or the future? and published them on this website (May 2019). I then had a student who stopped coming to my courses as he didn’t want to get stressed out by my ecological doomsday shenanigans. Perhaps the current situation will cause you to take a serious look back at the past because in spite of the bush fires that ravaged Australia last autumn and the consequent massacre of more than a billion animals; despite the melting of both the north and south pole icecaps and the visible consequences of this on island dwellers who are experiencing flooded at each high tide; despite the repeated famines in Africa from recurrent droughts brought about by climate change; we continue to block our ears, close our eyes and continue living as though everything was hunky dory!

So confined to barracks as you are by the current pandemic, here is something for you to think about. Let’s make this an opportunity for you to make changes in your behaviours, so that this lockdown, which will probably last into May, may be an isolated incident and never become a way of life!

  • Universe, Why are you putting me into a pangolin?
  • This little animal, Corona, is an endangered species. Yet Man continues to hunt and eat it … This is going to be the first part of my lesson to mankind.
  • OK Universe, but why does it have to begin in China?
  • Ah my Little One, China is the symbol of globalisation and mass production. The country is severely overpopulated, and creates massive pollution…
  • Hmm, you’re right Universe… but at the same time it’s because other countries get financial benefits from what they’re doing, no?
  • Yes, Little One, you’re right, but that’s why your mission is to spread over the entire world and particularly to those countries that benefit most from the system: the USA, Europe and the oil producing countries …
  • So what form will you give me Universe?
  • I’m going to make you into a virus that will principally attack the respiratory system.
  • OK, but why?
  • My Little One, can’t you see that mankind is endangering the whole planet. Pollution has become so suffocating that humanity can’t even measure it anymore. So what could more symbolic than attacking man’s ability to breathe? Do you see …?
  • Yep, but that means that I’m going to be dangerous.
  • No, you won’t be any more dangerous than all the other diseases already out there and you will be far less dangerous than pollution that causes millions of deaths every year. But the difference is that you will be visible …
  • OK Universe. So you think that your thing is going to really work but I don’t quite understand how?
  • You’re right Little One. That’s why I must make you very contagious. You are going to spread like wildfire and it’s the speed at which you will propagate that will be much more influential than the danger you represent.
  • Hmm, but if I’m not really that dangerous do you think people will be really scared of me?
  • Oh, trust me Little One! That’s how you are going make mankind evolve: you will change their mindset through fear and a man will only ever change when he is truly afraid…
  • You think so?
  • I know so, and I’m going to add a context that will exacerbate the fear and make people sit up and take notice.
  • What’s that Universe…?
  • People are going to be so afraid that they will stay confined in their homes. You’ll see. The world will come to a standstill. Schools will close, public venues will be shut, people won’t even be able to go to work. Cruise liners, planes, all means of transport … they’ll all come to a standstill.
  • Wow, Universe, you’re gonna do all that? So what do you hope will happen?
  • The world will change Little One! Mother Nature will be respected! People will realise how vainglorious their lives are, will see just how incoherent their behaviours are and they’ll have time to think about all that… They’ll stop running, discover that they have a family and children and get to spend time with them. They can get off the treadmill of all the activities that take up all their lives because they will all be closed. They can get back in touch with themselves and their loved ones … that’s what’s really essential in life, Little One.
  • OK, but that could be disastrous. The economy is going to collapse…
  • Oh yes, there will be huge economic consequences. But it’s necessary. Only by hitting the economy can the world take stock of the incoherencies in the way it is run. People will have to return to a simpler way of life, be part of a local community, help each other …
  • So, how will I be transmitted?
  • By human contact! When people kiss, touch each other …
  • Hold on Universe… I don’t follow you. You want to recreate links between people but keep them separated…?
  • Little One, just look at how men actually interact? Do you really think there is any true link between them? Everything is virtual and via a screen. When people are walking, they’re not looking at their surroundings and the beauty of nature but at their phones… Apart from kissing (and a lot of that is just air kissing) there isn’t any real human contact! I’m going to prevent that and send everyone home. When they’re between their four walls I bet they’ll spend all their time on their screens, but only for a few days. After a while they’ll get fed up… lift their heads, discover that they have a family and neighbours, look out the window and just stare at nature …
  • You’re tough Universe, you could have warned people before coming down so hard on them …
  • But I did Corona! I sent lots of messages, but it was all too localised and not severe enough…
  • Are your sure that Man will get the message this time?
  • Universe, Why are you putting me into a pangolin?
  • This little animal, Corona, is an endangered species. Yet Man continues to hunt and eat it … This is going to be the first part of my lesson to mankind.
  • OK Universe, but why does it have to begin in China?
  • Ah my Little One, China is the symbol of globalisation and mass production. The country is severely overpopulated, and creates massive pollution…
  • Hmm, you’re right Universe… but at the same time it’s because other countries get financial benefits from what they’re doing, no?
  • Yes, Little One, you’re right, but that’s why your mission is to spread over the entire world and particularly to those countries that benefit most from the system: the USA, Europe and the oil producing countries …
  • So what form will you give me Universe?
  • I’m going to make you into a virus that will principally attack the respiratory system.
  • OK, but why?
  • My Little One, can’t you see that mankind is endangering the whole planet. Pollution has become so suffocating that humanity can’t even measure it anymore. So what could more symbolic than attacking man’s ability to breathe? Do you see …?
  • Yep, but that means that I’m going to be dangerous.
  • No, you won’t be any more dangerous than all the other diseases already out there and you will be far less dangerous than pollution that causes millions of deaths every year. But the difference is that you will be visible …
  • OK Universe. So you think that your thing is going to really work but I don’t quite understand how?
  • You’re right Little One. That’s why I must make you very contagious. You are going to spread like wildfire and it’s the speed at which you will propagate that will be much more influential than the danger you represent.
  • Hmm, but if I’m not really that dangerous do you think people will be really scared of me?
  • Oh, trust me Little One! That’s how you are going make mankind evolve: you will change their mindset through fear and a man will only ever change when he is truly afraid…
  • You think so?
  • I know so, and I’m going to add a context that will exacerbate the fear and make people sit up and take notice.
  • What’s that Universe…?
  • People are going to be so afraid that they will stay confined in their homes. You’ll see. The world will come to a standstill. Schools will close, public venues will be shut, people won’t even be able to go to work. Cruise liners, planes, all means of transport … they’ll all come to a standstill.
  • Wow, Universe, you’re gonna do all that? So what do you hope will happen?
  • The world will change Little One! Mother Nature will be respected! People will realise how vainglorious their lives are, will see just how incoherent their behaviours are and they’ll have time to think about all that… They’ll stop running, discover that they have a family and children and get to spend time with them. They can get off the treadmill of all the activities that take up all their lives because they will all be closed. They can get back in touch with themselves and their loved ones … that’s what’s really essential in life, Little One.
  • OK, but that could be disastrous. The economy is going to collapse…
  • Oh yes, there will be huge economic consequences. But it’s necessary. Only by hitting the economy can the world take stock of the incoherencies in the way it is run. People will have to return to a simpler way of life, be part of a local community, help each other …
  • So, how will I be transmitted?
  • By human contact! When people kiss, touch each other …
  • Hold on Universe… I don’t follow you. You want to recreate links between people but keep them separated…?
  • Little One, just look at how men actually interact? Do you really think there is any true link between them? Everything is virtual and via a screen. When people are walking, they’re not looking at their surroundings and the beauty of nature but at their phones… Apart from kissing (and a lot of that is just air kissing) there isn’t any real human contact! I’m going to prevent that and send everyone home. When they’re between their four walls I bet they’ll spend all their time on their screens, but only for a few days. After a while they’ll get fed up… lift their heads, discover that they have a family and neighbours, look out the window and just stare at nature …
  • You’re tough Universe, you could have warned people before coming down so hard on them …
  • But I did Corona! I sent lots of messages, but it was all too localised and not severe enough…
  • Are your sure that Man will get the message this time?
  • I honestly don’t know, Corona … I hope so … Mother Earth is in danger… if it’s not enough I will do everything I can to save her and I have other Little Ones waiting in the wings, but I have every confidence in you Corona. People will soon see the effects and then you will see a reduction in pollution and that will get people thinking. Men are very intelligent and I’m confident that they can wake up and start getting creative and imagine new solutions. They’ll notice that pollution has decreased spectacularly, they’ll realise that the risk of ruptures of stock and components are real as they have delocalised all their production capacity and they will finally realise that true luxury comes not from money but from having time…The whole world needs this burnout Little One because the whole of humanity is fed up with the system but is incapable of getting off the wheel long enough to take stock of the situation … So now go do your thing ..
  • Mission understood, Universe … I’m on my way.

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