Here`s what matters to me – and what I recommend to reflect about.
The rather quiet time after Christmas is always a good opportunity to reflect about our life and the „big things“ which affect us so much. Did I achieve my personal goals (if I had any at all...)? What do I expect from the new year? Is there anything I can do to make this world a better one?
2015 was good for me in personal terms. No major sickness above all. This is the most important thing for most people. And every year I am more grateful for this. I have a job that is mostly fun (although not everything that shines is gold...but those bad days let you appreciate the good ones even more). I have (mostly) great people around me and I have time to do the things that are important to me ... sports, yoga, hanging out in coffeeshops, enjoying culture, travel, meet inspiring people... just to name a few. Life treats me well and again, I cannot be grateful enough for this.
However, overall 2015 was not such a good year for the world. Apart from disasters such as plane crashes and earthquakes, terrorism and environmental issues are the biggest threats and challenges for all of us on this planet, at least in my opinion. Luckily there is also something positive in all those bad things. I was very touched to see so many people helping refugees coming from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and other countries. Just amazing. And there are so many wonderful volunteers – doctors, nurses and others who help to lessen the suffering where most needed. They have all my respect, not the politicians – sorry. I wish religions would not play the role they play – I believe the world would be a bit better if we all accepted religion being a private thing, no matter what our beliefs are. And if we considered all of us equal, disregarding ethnic backgrounds, religions or whatever. I know, this is just wishful thinking.
Our environment – one of the biggest challenges
The global warming is another big challenge. It was encouraging to see that agreements were reached during the recent summit in Paris but I think it is premature to celebrate this as a success. We still have to come a long way. And we need to think about our habits, our consumption. While I am writing this little blog I am sitting on a plane to Chicago. A trip for fun. Is it really necessary? The answer is a clear NO. But I am not perfect. And I will make up for this. I will donate money to Atmosfair to allow them to plant trees and to compensate my carbon footprint, at least something I can do. And I keep reducing my consumption in general. We do not need the latest technical gadgets all the time. Think about the waste when throwing away your „old“ ones – and where they go and who will clean them up. It´s often children in third-world countries, doing dirty work for almost nothing.
Water is Life – let`s consume with respect
Think about water. I am not saying you should not have your daily shower but there are so many ways to reduce our consumption of water (including the time of having a shower). Can you believe that currently 2.7 billion men, women and children are suffering from lack of water for at least one month? Sad but true. 92% of our drinkable water is completely wasted by agriculture. The World Economic Forum WEF says that the water crisis is the highest economic risk, ahead of diseases, arms and global warming. Water is used to produce all kinds of goods, including clothes. The average German is using 3,900 l of water every day (!) to get strawberries from Spain, flowers from Kenya and meat. This equals to 26 completely filled baththubs – imagine that. And only 130 l out of that are directly used to drink, cook or wash. Solution? Try to eat local, according to the seasons. I also enjoy a mango from time to time but I don`t need it every week. There is enough food to choose from that comes from your region. And yes – one of my favorite issues, again: reduce your consumption of meat. If we would not have showers any more we would save 50 l of water per day. If we gave up on meat it would be 800 l per day. Rainforests are clear cut to have more land for soy cultivation to feed the animals. Soy needs a lot of water. Way too much water. And we all know that eating too much meat is not good for your health, no matter what you think about the recent WHO statements about meat consumption. And we all know how animals are treated until they are slaughtered – a real nightmare which should no longer exist in our modern times.
Just some thoughts. Yes, life should be fun but we should enjoy in a responsible way. There is no perfection but every little thing can collectively make a big difference.
I wish you a wonderful year 2016. With empathy, peace, health, inspiration and lots of quality time for yourself and with people you love.