With the constant bad news that we subjected to from our media every time we climb into our cars and turn on our radios, every time we turn on our televisions or open our newspapers, this may seem like an absurd question to ask. But I am being serious here – have you taken the perspective recently to look at how quickly we are evolving as a society?

Let’s go ten years back into the past…

It’s the year 1998 where the millennium bug was a bigger buzz word than global change. Take a minute to imagine where you were at this time, the kinds of things that were occupying your mind, the social changes that were taking place. Try and think of what type of environmental initiatives you were involved in, if any. Had you started recycling yet? Had you ever considered the dangers of the synthetic chemicals used in your skincare and cleaning products or the pesticides in your food? Did you take your own carrier bag to do your weekly shopping? Was a corporate company trying to gain your support by making you aware of their green initiatives? Most importantly of all however, is how did these questions apply to your family and friends and to the greater media?

I am guessing that recycling was not the norm. In fact it was probably surprising to walk into a friend’s kitchen and to be shown what packaging went into what bin. The last thing you expected to find at Pick n Pay would be organic food, and if it was being sold many of us would not really understand what it stood for. If you consider yourself to be alternative, or even if you don’t, you probably never expected the Secret (the movie, the book or the concept behind it) harder to book at your local video shop than the latest Hollywood blockbuster. The CEO might have sent the company you work at a memo about not wasting paper, but the reasons outlined were probably to do with saving money rather than the environment. When you bought your groceries, I bet that packaging was probably not such a big deal. Manufacturers were differentiating themselves by their specials and not by their green initiatives…

Now, let’s go back to 2 years into the past…

And ask yourself the same questions

Now go back 1 year into the past

And ask yourself the same questions

I’m pretty sure that you will notice yourself that the rate at which we are evolving ecologically as a society is increasing. Change in our collective consciousness on matters of sustainability that used to take a few years to be noticed are now taking 6 months. I know that there is a LOT that still needs to be done for us to get to a point that we can live harmoniously with the planet (not just as individuals or in pockets) but I believe that it is good to keep an eye on how much positive change is taking place.

As individuals, communities and companies we are becoming more and more aware that everything has a consequence, that what goes in, comes out and that everything is connected. Let’s focus on that positive change and use it to fuel our inspired action to combat the not so positive news!

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