When we first arrived at CEN we were greeted by quantum physicist and founder, Alan Bolt. He told us that CEN was created to restore and protect the fresh water in this area which previously suffered from deforestation. Alan and his team have planted an entire jungle here diverse with all different forms of life from 30 foot high ferns to jaguars. Alan preached the sacredness of nature and how much we have come to take it for granted.
I was very inspired by Alan’s first talk with us. One of the many brilliant things he discussed was the difference between ignorance and stupidity. Alan explained that the most dangerous thing in this world is human stupidity. He defined stupidity as when we have knowledge but choose not to use it. He used the example that although Americans know that McDonalds burgers are made from cows who have been fed cereals just to fatten them up which results in an increase in methane production, many continue to eat them. Although we have the knowledge that something is wrong, we continue to do it harming ourselves and the world. He kept restating the question: so why don’t we change?
This made me question a lot of the habitual things I have come to do in my life even though I know the consequences. Why did I drive myself to school everyday this year if I knew how much unnecessary carbon was being emitted? Why do I continue to leave the lights on in my room when I know that electricity is a finite resource? Why do I take advantage of the luxury to take as many showers a day when fresh water is rapidly decreasing? Often, it is only in the face of immediate threat that we look for ways to change. After the discussion with Alan I’ve realized that now is my time to change. Instead of driving myself everywhere I can opt to carpool with friends. When I leave a room, instead of being forgetful I can make the conscious decision to turn the lights off. Instead of showering whenever I want to, I can be more conscious of the amount of water I am using.
One thing Alan said that really stuck with me was: “There is no way to change that we are in charge of the world.” We need to take responsibility for our actions and accept that what we do, although it may not be affecting us directly at the time, has grave consequences in the grand scheme of things. In the words of Alan Bolt, transformation is possible, we just need to take our lives into our own hands.