"Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children"
- Kenyan Proverb
Treat our Earth well. It is an important lesson that takes a very long time to learn. Some of us even never learn the lesson in our lives.
Part of treating our Earth well involves this buzz word in the world of community development: sustainability.
Before joining the Peace Corps, I had thought that in order to help out all one would have to do is something simple like donating money to a cause (i.e. Red Cross) or providing some service to those in need (i.e. serving food at a soup kitchen).
I didn't realize how much actually goes into development -- and consequently the importance of environmental conservation.
One of the things that we heard about and learned about as part of Peace Corps trainings has been making projects sustainable: that is making sure the project will continue long after the PC Volunteer is gone. So this notion of sustainability came up recently in conservation with an mzee (elder/old man).
We were talking about why foreigners come to Kenya: why do people come thinking they can change the world with money? Why do foreigners think that they can come in and fix all the problems for the locals?
I had no answers...
All that was in my mind is how true these statements ring in many people's minds -- including, to some extent, how I also used to think similarly.
Experience is the best teacher.
If only we can take this experience and learn to apply it in our everyday lives.
If only we can take this life lessons and apply them to the way we treat our Earth mother.