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World Earth Day 2016: Queen Earth has Checked Us! What’s Our Move? by Adenike Akinsemolu

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True love is like playing chess. A boy strategically plots and is always afraid of losing his Queen, and the girl risks everything just to protect her king. Mother Earth is the queen, and each human is a king. We are one with the Earth. This is our love story. Though, it is a selfish love. The Earth is always giving, and we are always taking. Similar to chess, the Queen always protects the King even at her detriment. You see, Queen Earth is so loving, incredibly beautiful and overly bounteous. She gives us air to breathe, food to eat, clean water to drink and healing herbs to restore us when we are sick. With the help of the sunlight, we experience the miracle of photosynthesis, the process in which plants manufacture their food, leaving us oxygen to inhale. With every breath, we experience tranquillity and relish the wonders of life.

Queen Earth does all these selfless and remarkable things for us. What do we do in return? We abuse it, that’s kind of messed up! We throw wastes everywhere, urinate in public places, and buy things we do not need. We are corrupt. When we think of corruption, we think of rape, murder, political instability, fraud, and embezzlement. Corruption in an environmental sense is when we needlessly drop waste on the floor without any sense of guilt, expecting someone else to sort it out. Imagine the frustration when you unknowingly step on a used chewing gum. It sticks firmly and does not come off easily (sometimes this might just be karma). Corruption is eating in excess and wasting water when there are people in our backyard that do not have access to food and potable water (there is a health consequence for over-eating anyway). Corruption is when we place our generators in close proximity to where others can inhale toxic substances. Corruption is urinating and defecating in public places. Corruption is choosing not to carpool with siblings, co-workers or spouses to the same event or location because we want to show off our automobiles. The more vehicles that are on the road, the more greenhouse gases are emitted into the atmosphere (you can actually save money by carpooling). Sure, these practices are hardly equivalent to murder or rape but on the long run, their cumulative effects are detrimental to human lives and ultimately destroy this earth.

All our negative contributions affect the earth, and it is a betrayal of love. How can we redeem this love? First, we can do that by living simply. We do not need to consume a lot to be happy. We need to change our way of seeing things. We are so used to the earth that we take it for granted. As is the case of a selfish relationship, we do not know what we have till it is gone. We need to realise that the earth is not just a habitat and that it doesn’t exist outside of us. When we realize that the Earth provides us with all the vital elements needed for survival including the air we breathe, then we will know that in fact we are the Earth. Our consciousness is also the Earth’s consciousness. We are in communion with the earth. If it is toxic, we are toxic. Therefore, we need to care for the Earth as we care for ourselves.

At the end of a chess game, the king and the pawn go into the same box. Whether you are rich, poor, Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, male, female, politician, doctor, king, slave, white, black, it does not really matter. We are all in this together. The Earth and its entire species are in real danger. However, just like a devoted lover, Queen Earth is willing to forgive us so far we are willing to admit our mistakes and develop a cordial relationship with her. Go outside, take a deep breath, appreciate the Queen, romance with it and protect it. We are Homo sapiens, but we can be Homo conscious. Let us be conscious of our excesses and learn to keep it simple. Here is what you can do:

  1. Dispose of your waste properly
  2. Eat organic food: real food is fuel for the body — and the planet.
  3. Use organic products: the average woman absorbs more than 4 pounds of cosmetics during her lifetime. Guys, you’re not off the hook.
  4. Switch off your appliances when not in use (it will save you electricity bill and reduce emissions)
  5. Invest in clean, renewable energy (CFCs Bulbs, solar panels, etc.)
  6. Green your transport: Walk, bike, take public transportation or carpool. You will not only reduce (or eliminate) the carbon dioxide and particulate emissions but also stay fit in the process.
  7. Recycle: Nature recycles everything. So should you.
  8. Conserve water: Water is not a renewable resource
  9. Educate others

In Chess, the end game can be a difficult challenge. It can be hard to cut down excesses, but it is definitely possible. Romancing with Queen Earth is no longer an obligation; our survival and happiness depend on it. If Queen Earth is angry, we will only have ourselves to blame when she checkmates us into submission. And yes, this is personal.

Photo Credit: Olayinka Ojo Photography.

11 Comments

  1. Ibrahim Majidadi

    April 22, 2016 at 9:50 am

    Nice piece.. it’s really an eye opener. More of it ma

  2. Josiah

    April 22, 2016 at 9:59 am

    The consciousness for a clean environment cannot be overemphasized at a time like this. ‘XENAs’ like Adenike are sure we’ll poised to lead us to the promised ‘Upendi’ of sustainability. Great write up.

  3. Alade Toheeb Oluwatoyin

    April 22, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Wonderful anecdote,excellent analogy,great piece ma!

  4. Alade Toheeb Oluwatoyin

    April 22, 2016 at 10:16 am

    wonderful anecdote, excellent analogy!great piece ma!

  5. ujay

    April 22, 2016 at 10:59 am

    Nice piece.

  6. Seun

    April 22, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Very well written Nike. We definitely are an abusive nation, even right down to waste and energy. I look forward to the day Nigerians are personally accountable of their waste; and to the day we will generate power from waste products!
    One simple practice of mine here in the U.S is to have a small plastic bag in my car, with the handle opening over my gear. Anything i need to dispose of while driving goes in there. When i get home i take the bag out and dispose of it in my trash bin at home. This was i have easy access to properly disposing of my trash, rather than litter the streets or risk getting a $500 fine for littering.

  7. akapo

    April 22, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Wow!!!!!!! Nice write up ma, I trust you to always deliver. I am still learning oooooo

  8. Gracekay

    April 22, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    It’s time we all rise to the task of keeping the environment safe for our own good. Nice job Mad’m.

  9. olubunmi

    April 22, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    Nicely done. Keep up the good work.

  10. olubunmi

    April 22, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    Keep up the good work. Nice piece.

  11. Tosin

    April 23, 2016 at 3:56 am

    #movement
    <3

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