A painting by Berrin Duma. Photo: turkishpaintings.com
Dear prime minister Rishi Sunak, can you hear the cries of Mother Nature? Can you bring down yourself to our level and feel our suffering, pain and anguish, triggered by climate change? Air pollution, floods, droughts, fires, toxic smokes…are killing us daily and destroying our communities. Why are you not responding? Why are you watering down your legal, moral and spiritual commitments to heal and nurture our common home, our common humanity, our Mother Earth and build a better world for everyone?
Dear Mr. Sunak, before I proceed in my wish to open up your eyes to the beauty, elegance, simplicity, and the wisdom of sages of love, our precious treasures, the eco-warriors, nature’s prophets and priests, such as William Morris and others, I would very much like to share the following with you. In 2011, well before our nation got lucky discovering you, when you were busy working at Goldman Sachs and a few hedge fund firms, here and there, creating and generating ‘wealth’ I wrote an article reaching out to the ‘wealth creators’ such as your good self. I am 100% certain that it never entered your in-box of things to read. I have read it again myself. Believe me, Mr. Sunak, its words, sentiments and values are truer today than 12 years ago when I first wrote it. I hope you will honour me and read it this time around, it will take only a very short few minutes of your busy time.
‘In modern economic thinking, greed and selfishness are upheld as guiding the ‘invisible hand’ of the market and are therefore exempt from moral consideration. It is time for us to redefine our values and build a just economy for the common good.’
‘We can’t ignore the profound and expensive human suffering triggered by climate change.’-
Rishi Sunak’s Plot to Destroy Mother Nature: Net Zero Backtrack, Fool the Masses again, like Boris Johnson’s Plot of Brexit, or the dreaded Margaret Thatcher's water privatisation, Lest We Forget!!
‘O Me! O Me! How I Love the Earth’: William Morris’s Answer to Climate Crisis and a more Conscious, Caring, Sustainable Society
This is the Struggle of Our Time: Hopelessness, Fear, Populism, Neoliberalism, Greed, and Folly Vs Humanity, Beauty, Wisdom, Happiness and Hope
Throughout our history we have always answered and risen, again and again, to the calling of humanity because of altruistic values, dedication to service, and the desire to alleviate suffering, pain and promote healing, to nurture and save things that are precious and priceless to us. This is why I am hopeful and not in despair. I know we will be on the side of humanity, beauty, and wisdom. I know when it comes down to saving our Mother Earth and Nature, we will believe our sages and philosophers of love, heeding their precious advice and guidance on how to live our lives better and why it’s important that we must value Mother Nature.
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto.
‘The earth and the growth of it and the life of it! If I could but say or show how I love it!
“O me! O me! How I love the earth, and the seasons, and weather, and all things that deal with it, and all that grows out of it.”- Words from William Morris, noted in 'News from Nowhere'
These are the times when we desperately need inspiring and
healing words of wisdom, hope and beauty.
Hope and Humanity to Save Our Mother Earth and Nature, History Will Judge the Complicit
At times like these, when folly, dishonesty, cheating, buffonism, ignorance, lack of imagination and virtues are fueling chaos and despair, pain and death, when some elected or appointed political leaders tear into their commitments to combat climate change, heal and save Mother Nature, by diluting their country’s legally binding obligations on greenhouse gas emissions, such as the ones on net zero emissions, all to appease the inhumane, values-free populist, neoliberal, rightwing ideologues that have brought Mother Nature to the near extinction already. These wanton economic and environmental vandalism are nothing short of ‘Ecocide’, crimes against humanity.
William Morris (24 March 1834 – 3 October 1896) and the virtues of simplicity, lovingly nurturing nature and living a Conscious, Caring life
'A man you might follow to the ends of the earth’: William Morris, photographed by Frederick Hollyer in 1884.
Photograph: © National Portrait Gallery, London/ via The Guardian
William Morris: A Victorian environmental visionary and eco-warrior for today
‘Fighting the evils of the ‘modern age’ underpinned his life’s work’
Oscar Wilde thought him ‘a master of all exquisite design and of all spiritual vision’, while forty years after Morris’s death George Bernard Shaw observed: ‘He towers greater and greater above the horizon beneath which his best advertised contemporaries have disappeared.’
As in the Victorian era, today also, in our drive to industrialise and grow at breakneck speed, mother nature provides a refuge and solace from our regimented and assembly line life and existence. But more importantly, nature supplies all humanity with our very sustenance. As we confront the challenges of climate change, we must recognise that we are one of many species in the Tree of Life. As Morris so simply and elegantly expressed it all those many years ago, “O me! O me! How I love the earth, and the seasons, and weather, and all things that deal with it, and all that grows out of it.”
Tree of Life is Burning
Neoliberalism, Growthmania, Greed and Profitmania, Commercialism and Consumerism have trumped Virtues and Vision and are mutilating the Tree of Life
Photo Credit: NBC News
To my mind, William Morris (1834-1896), arguably the greatest designer-craftsman that England has ever produced, remains a perennially topical influence – not only as the father of the Arts and Crafts Movement, but also as a pioneer of conservation and a visionary social thinker. During his exemplary lifetime, his lectures, writings and practical ways of living a good and rewarding life, advocated the vigorous regeneration of handicrafts and an emphatic rejection of industrialism and commercialism. His writings - on beauty and truth, on work and leisure, on commerce and capitalism, on life and how to live it - can teach us more than ever about how to see the world around us clearly and how to live our lives today.
William Morris & Co. stained glass window depicting the 'Tree of Life', Church of St. Cybi, Holyhead, Anglesey, Wales
Photograph taken by Dennis Eaton
N.B.(A Moment that Changed Me) Although I had heard about William Morris before, I really got to know him better and deeper sometimes in 2018. At that time our oldest son and his family were living in Walthamstow, in the London Borough of Waltham Forest. One day, whilst in London visiting them for a few days, they suggested that we might wish to visit the William Morris Gallery not far from their house.
It was a nice spring day and we walked to the Gallery. I must admit, it was amazing, an eye-opening experience, when and where I discovered an abundance of wisdom, beauty and hope that, indeed, it is possible to build a better world, if we discover the sages that have shown us how this might be possible, heeding their priceless and timeless advice.
It goes without saying that we visited the gallery a few more times, each time discovering more understanding, knowledge, virtues, more ideas and more inspiration.
A year later, I put all these new discoveries into my first blog posting on William Morris: The beauty of living simply: the forgotten wisdom of William Morris and have never looked back.
William Morris: An Earthshaker and a Green Campaigner
‘Remembered by environmentalists for his pioneering predictions of the problems caused by unsustainable industrialisation. His utopian view of a society in harmony with nature still inspires generations of sustainable-living advocates.’- Environment Agency, 2006
‘William Morris is known for his beautiful plant patterns – but he also foretold the climate crisis. He was an environmental visionary and way ahead of his time.’
Morris’s love of nature was a well-spring for his work. Strawberry Thief is one of William Morris's most popular repeating designs for textiles.
It takes as its subject the thrushes that Morris found stealing fruit in his kitchen garden of his countryside home, Kelmscott Manor, in Oxfordshire.
‘The British textile designer, writer, activist and leading member of the Arts-and-Crafts Movement has also recently been extolled as a precursor of green theory, according to biographer Ruth Kinna. If he were alive today, it is very likely he would be standing shoulder to shoulder with environmental protestors. He was 170 years too early, but he foresaw the ill effects of industrialisation: “When our green fields and clear waters, nay the very air we breathe, are turned... to dirt... let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die – choked by filth.”
‘The natural world in which he had grown up – cantering his pony through Epping forest – was being destroyed before his eyes, and the ‘common man’ enslaved to carry out this destruction. Observing the ill effects of factory work on people, Morris realised that a healthy environment was linked to psychological as well as physical health; that the landscape itself could lift spirits and contribute to psychological equilibrium. Obsessed with the pollution, congestion, and squalid industrial waste produced by the Industrial Revolution, he retreated artistically into a medieval utopia. Fighting the evils of the ‘modern age’ became, in due course, linked to his entire design ethos, and underpinned his life’s work…’- The above excerpts from The first eco-warrior of design
‘O Me! O Me! How I Love the Earth’
‘In his article, “‘O Me! O Me! How I Love the Earth’: William Morris’s News from Nowhere and the Birth of Sustainable Society,” Martin Delveaux argues “that Morris, by stressing the need for a decentralised and polycentric country and by showing how cooperation, as opposed to competition, can form a symbiosis between the members of the society, effectively linked the local with the global.” Delveaux goes into detail about how Nowhere is all around a socially just, economically viable, and environmentally sustainable social order.
First, Delveaux discusses Nowhere and how Morris, in the text, relates it back to the ‘Back to Nature’ and ‘Back to the Land’ movements from the 1880s and 1890s. Basically, the argument being made is that Nowhere’s cross-fertilization of town and country, ecocentric attitudes, and collaboration with nature are only possible because of the abolishment of class monopoly. With no bourgeoisie to influence the urbanised areas (which would then exploit the surrounding, rural habitations), there is no suppression of livelihood based on class or privilege. Successfully integrated (town with country), the people now view their attitudes toward nature as the same as their attitudes toward themselves, instead of succumbing to the influences of the attitudes of upper classes.
Another of Delveaux’s main arguments is for Nowhere as a “Bioregional Utopia,” meaning that it does not distort the earth to meet human demands. The “Nowhereians” live by a philosophy of “saving the whole by saving the parts,” (the whole being the world, and the parts being humans and nature). Their market also has a good deal to do with this utopian opportunity. With their labour being carried out along the Marxist principle of from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs, there is no over-exploitation of resources or overabundance of market. These factors, as well as others, are how Delveaux argues Nowhere as an overall utopian social order.
The article is well-cited and well-argued, commenting on the obvious realities of Morris’ work in News from Nowhere, as well as his other publications and lectures prior to the novel.’- Excerpts from THE UVM COMMUNITY UVM BLOGS
Environmentalism, Climate Change, Sustainability and Biodiversity: A pick from our GCGI archive
Lest We Forget
‘In all my academic life, spanning over four decades, I have been dismayed, frustrated and overwhelmed with pain to notice that our education model has not embraced the beauty and the wisdom of our mother nature and our sacred earth, corporating them into the teaching curriculum.
This, to my mind, has seriously deprived the students, our future leaders, or indeed, our current leaders, to get a wholesome, values-led education, and thus, has prevented them, to vision and implement policies to heal our world, to better our lives.’- Kamran Mofid
When there is no Mother Nature Present- There is no Balanced, Values-led Education
A Time to Rethink What is Valuable, What We Teach, What We Learn, and How We Live
Learning from wise Mother Nature
Photo: Via Laura's Beau
A Reading List for the Rishi Sunaks of this World
A New Decade and a New Vision for Education: Seizing the Moment, Realizing the Value of Values-led Civics Education
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'Fall in love with life and the living and the world will be a better place.'- Kamran Mofid
William Morris Persian Tapestry