Wednesday, 20 October 2021
Gillie Sutherland Gillie Sutherland

One Earth - We are all a part of the Earth, and it is part of us – let’s not forget this

Written by  Gillie Sutherland Mar 28, 2021

Do you remember the day that you first discovered the World Wide Web?

It was back in the early 90s and for me, I was in an internet café in London with a friend who was showing me the ropes, and I remember the child-like wonder as if it was yesterday.

Of course, we take it for granted now, it has changed the whole landscape of work, communications and information, but I don’t think at the time we could have imagined just how much we would come to rely on it.

I recall thinking to myself that it had to be a good thing, surely this would make us more connected, like one big global family, and that together we would be stronger.

My hippy tendencies were already well and truly in place by then. At school, I had been fascinated by the indigenous tribes of North America, and specifically their views on ownership of land and respect for nature.

One of Chief Seattle’s famous quotes was - 

“The Earth does not belong to Man, Man belongs to the Earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself”.

The words resonate with me today more than ever.

In a world with so much separation, it seems we are forgetting that we are all guests on this planet, we are all connected in that we walk this same Earth, we take from it our nourishment, and that, as a collective, we have a responsibility to take care of it, and each other.

We have this incredible tool, the internet, available to help us feel more connected in times where being together isn’t possible, and to use it in a way which makes us feel stronger together.

It seems, however, that it can be a force for a good or a force for evil.

I’ve been deeply saddened recently to see examples of bullying, and the spreading of hate, of creating separation, and even inciting violence against whole communities.

I believe we have a social responsibility every time we post to ensure that it does not cause harm to others, no matter what we believe our “truth” to be. I try to live by The Harm Principle, which is that the actions of individuals should only be limited to prevent harm to other individuals.

Simply put, we should be free to do as we please as long as it’s not harming others.

Freedom of speech is important, but so is the safety of others, and I think it’s more important to be kind than to be right.

Many Trump supporters would argue that he was “just speaking the truth”, but if his words were inciting violence against whole communities, then surely this is not the way?

The “blame, shame and name” game is a dangerous one to play right now, and when the keyboard warriors take to the internet to share their beliefs that whole nations are to blame, it just creates more separation.

We have this fantastic opportunity right now to use the internet for a force of good, to spread love, and celebrate our connectedness, as “one planet, one humanity, one Earth”.

This is the responsibility of the individual if this is what we want to see in the world. It is down to us.

Personally, I am hugely grateful for the internet as I’ve had to rely on it entirely for my work throughout this pandemic, and I have been astounded at how powerful it can be when we have the intention of supporting each other.

At the start of the class we start with a virtual group hug, I get everyone to imagine we are all sitting around a big fire together, and I remind everyone that even though we are apart, we are still connected through the Earth below us and the Air that we breath.

It has been one of my greatest joys in my career to create this online tribe, and I intend to celebrate Earth Day 2021 with an event with the theme of “One Earth”.

For the Earth is what we all have in common, and when we remember this, and that we truly are all in this together, perhaps we can start to look after each other as one big global family, and at the same time take care of this beautiful home we have been granted.

Read more Gillie here...  

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Gillie Sutherland grew up in the north of England, before settling in Devon, but has now swapped her UK address for one on the Adriatic in the very south of Croatia, in Molunat. A professional Wellness Consultant she now runs retreats and online courses from her Konavle base. She also writes a weekly column for the Devon newspaper, The Express and Echo.

To find out more about Gillie go to www.behappyfit.co.uk

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