Lead by example with hope, never fear. – Michelle Obama
With the prospective Lamu Coal Power Plant still filling reports and files, the fate of Nairobi National Park lying in the abyss, deforestation in the country’s water towers and poaching done within big political circles, it becomes challenging to stay positive. You wonder whether people actually know the importance of natural resources or maybe ignorance is a blissful state. You tend to think greed and impunity will not end and you fathom the possibility of nature been deemed a hindrance to development. Yes, as a country we face numerous challenges both political and economic, but we also face environmental challenges at both local and global levels. In this world, we as a country, are not alone, we all face different challenges. All this can be solved one at a time, not all at once, but solving one challenge may inevitably affect another challenge on a negative stance.
Take unemployment, for example, we can have the Lamu Coal Power Plant, increase employment rates but in the long run, this will be short lived, even if it’s just for 20 – 50 years, this is still a short time. When we leave Lamu untouched from coal mining, we ensure a healthy people and a clean environment saved from the negative effects of such a plant. The ocean will still be bustling with life 20 years on. Tourism will continue to thrive in the coastal town. The health status of the residents will not face a downward decline caused by the negative effects of a coal plant. We will also not face a rise in respiratory and cancer related conditions among our citizens.
“It is upsetting that many people don’t seem to observe what’s happening to the environment, what’s happening in terms of Global Warming, the loss of habitats and wild things.” Joanne Woodward
On the bright side, there are more upright people than there are corrupt. Currently, there is an increase in the number of young people who care about the environment. Many are starting and growing their own organisations, online and offline campaigns, initiatives and publications, both through academics and print media, to connect with each other and to save wildlife and the environment in general. Young people are being inspired by their peers to take up huge challenges. They also don’t work on anyone’s terms and are doing it for themselves.
“No matter who or where we are, or what our capabilities, we are called to do the best we can.” – Wangari Maathai
Living a positive lifestyle even in the worst of environmental destruction episodes is tough. This is very plausible and achievable with a changed mind set. The youth should be willing to start with where they are and with what they have. Expecting to have it all, all at once, at the same time is next to impossible, but waiting for others, especially those of a higher authority, to tell the youth what they need to be doing, whether right or wrong, will not take young people anywhere. The notion that young people only care about themselves will end as the younger generation is more aware. Yes, we need direction, but we also need to realise there is a lot at stake when we allow old methods on environment conservation to continue playing a role in the country.
“Never stop fighting until you arrive at your destined place – that is, the unique you. Have an aim in life, continuously acquire knowledge, work hard, and have perseverance to realise the great life.” – A. P. J Abdul Kalam
Change is something to always look forward to as it is always constant. Starting, participating and supporting initiatives done by the youth is one way of sending positive vibes. We may be fighting a cause that has a lot of work. This is in terms of restoration, but we remain hopeful for better days. Days when corrupt individuals, especially those in power will be instigated for environmental destruction. When ignorance will be subverted with immense knowledge on the environment and our natural resources. When the ‘man eat man’ society will be less inclined even in our daily lives.
“There is a powerful force unleashed when young people resolve to make a change.” ― Jane Goodall,
Young people may not have the resources, but they have the time, the energy and the will to go after what they want. Sometimes, you have to stay positive, even when everyone around you is breathing all the negative air. All the different lineages of the youth should always be willing to fight the good fight because serving nature is serving humanity. This, I believe, is a big reason why you should stay positive.
“Everybody can be great, because, anybody can serve.” – Martin Luther King
Featured Image: Steve Toom