He winked at me as they rolled his bed away and I waved and smiled, concerned for him. We’d been joking about being on death row, that he preferred the boxing ring to the bed but look where it had got him, here, next to idiots like me whose lives were almost, probably imminently over. Our cheerful jibing chats typical of inner-city street natter had been between the powerful fits which wracked his body, which swelled his throat, preventing him from speaking and soon breathing and that’s why an increasing number of medics surrounded his bed each time the alarm was pressed for they grew more and more intense. Poor man.
He was only 32 and had come down from a northern city for a fight which seemed to have done damage so drastic that this vibrant, fit young man with his life ahead of him was now in a worse state than me, and I, double his age, was not in a god state at all. Fate, it struck him down. He and I both knew it as we winked and waved that last time. He never came back, yet I who’ve had an amazing and a long life am still here to write about this.
That they say is fate. I don’t believe in fate. Life is not predetermined, it is a series of random interactions between chaotic forces propelled from far back then that now intersect and create a new scenario. I stopped believing in the Hippie ideal of ‘Fate Man’ when I began Zen meditation high upon the stunning beauty of interlocking Himalayan ridges. I wandered India’s north seeking ‘Truth Man’ for over two years and all I saw was an ancient philosophy/religion which had been used to divide people in to castes in order to hold down the plebs and the brahmins at the top spoke endlessly about Fate.
Yesterday today’s Brahmins, the Climate Change guys meeting in Switzerland, told us that our actions today will resound for tens of centuries. I recently wrote about this and the fact that if we continue as we are and as we plan to do, disaster will strike this wonderful world very soon, within the life time of old people my age if we live another fifteen or twenty years. Yet we can change this. Those guys said that we the plebs have such power. But how few of us accept this fact. It surprised me, after my rather too intense blog on these exact points, how few people responded and that those who did were not all positive, yet I sent out individual emails to 50 decent, intelligent people who are awake to today’s multiple problems.
It highlights the monumental problem we face. If some on my own personal contact list were unwilling to engage as much as I had hoped, then what chance the rest of the population whose joy is to buy such CO2 consumptive things as winter tomatoes and strawberries and who dream about flying off to holiday in the sun? I was talking to such a person the other day. This intelligent, lovely minded creative woman said, “I need the sun! I simply must fly south, anywhere sunny!” I also know several good and environmentally aware people who have flown to Central American jungles simply because they want to see pristine nature.
This in this time when we are aware that such excesses are dangerous for the climate. Carbon off-setting doesn't work. OK, I flew to India and my homeland Kenya many times over three decades, but even I the environmentalist was not fully aware of the impact flying had, as soon as I was I stopped flying, that was almost two decades ago. Since then ice everywhere is melting at a phenomenally terrifying rate.
Ho well. We who have not been wheeled out of the death-ward still have a chance to change the ‘Fate’ of the Planet - by shopping for local produce, eating meat no more than once a week and ensuring it was good husbanded and grass fed, driving less and trying not to fly. Live as lightly as possible is what I keep telling myself. It is our purpose. There is no better purpose. We do so for future generations, we ensure today’s actions spread thousand years of positivity.
Come on, it is as easy as that.