At the time of writing flood levels are rising along the Thames, large areas of Somerset are under water and the South West of England has all its rail services cut off by flooding, subsidence and storm damage.
Of course, this is not purely a problem local to the UK. Clients in Southern US have experienced crazy freezing temperatures. And then there’s the Philippines, and…so it goes on.
On the BBC, seasoned presenter Jeremy Paxman asks Chris Smith, UK Environment Agency Chairman, ‘Who’s to blame?’ Which says much about the mindset and approach of some of the media. Chris Smith answers simply ‘The Weather’ and recounts a long list of recent record breaking natural events.
Part of the ‘who’s to blame?’ question goes to ‘Is the climate changing and is mankind responsible?’ Big and complicated questions. We have thoughts, but that’s not the point. Because there are deeper truths.
Change is not a choice. This world we live in is constantly in flux. Our sense of stability and control is illusionary. Coasts move. Towns that had harbours become landlocked and others washed away. Nothing is permanent. The only things that seem immovable are pride and closed minds, wanting to believe we are masters over all this.
It feels like we are being given lessons in growing up. From a childish ‘That’s mine’ we are being told gently, and sometimes forcibly, to share, and give, as well as take. It’s not easy.
It is as if we are needing to learn and re-learn the power of humility and compassion in leadership, to balance the traditional and popular approach of strong will and force. Certainly a lot of will and energy are needed in the short term. And then? Perhaps a little more humility to nature and the planet that sustains us would be no bad thing. And to let that play a greater part in our decision making going forwards. And compassion for those affected by what is unfolding. This is a time for oneness – we are all connected – what affects others affects us.
What is going on for you as you witness all this? It’s certainly making us ask some big questions.