What comes after the covid-19 pandemic?
We've been wondering how to bring about something positive from the current crisis and work towards creating a better future for all. What post-virus future do we want to see? How do we avoid going back to business as usual?
We decided it would be good to put down our own thoughts and invite contributions from others - organisations that have received funding from The Pebble Trust.
The Great Pause
by Emma Whitham - MOO Food - 21:52 on 15 May 2020
Abruptly with no warning the world was forced to pause. Although the sadness and great loss behind the ‘Great Pause’ cannot be underestimated neither can the wonderful opportunities and hope it offers.
As we all slow down, reconnect with ourselves, our loved ones and our communities we see with great clarity that it isn’t consumerism, or growth, or dominance that supports and nurtures us through a crisis but it is our community and a simplicity that was almost forgotten. It is the simple things in life that bring people pleasure and happiness; hugging one’s grandchild, laughing with a friend, smelling the spring flowers or listening to the dawn chorus. That is where the joy lies. Suddenly this all became very obvious once we had a chance to stop, experience life, live in the moment and realise what we missed the most.
The lack of urgency the general populous applies to the climate and environmental emergency can often be interpreted that people don’t care about anything other than themselves anymore; that the individualistic nature of our culture is a barrier to the collective changes required to make the world happier, healthier and more sustainable. Yet people in communities all over the world have come together in great numbers to help each other, especially the most vulnerable. Across Scotland new community groups have sprung up all over, with people donating everything from food and clothes to time and money. We aren’t selfish, we do care and it is this human quality that gives enormous hope.
People with the greatest power in our country may or may not progress a recovery plan that prioritises reducing inequality and promotes sustainability with brave ambition but we as individuals do have more power than we are ever allowed to believe. Stepping off the conveyor belt of our manic lives has given us all an opportunity to see for ourselves how life can be different. We do choose how we spend our energy, time and money.
By the beginning of lockdown nearly all the major online suppliers of grow your own stocks were depleted. This is wonderful to think that families and communities are taking back some control of their food. It was shown within the space of days how fragile our food system is. It was plain for all to see that we rely on a precarious, unfair and very fragile structure. Our power lies in taking back control.
The third sector must have assistance to rise to the challenge of supporting individuals and communities to increase their capacity and independence to ensure going forward we are stronger and more resilient. This new found interest in grow your own needs to be encouraged and backed in order for it to become a new normal and not a passing fad. We at MOO Food are super excited to be in a position to work with our community to keep building the grow your own capacity and to keep growing food for all to enjoy.
We have all been presented with an opportunity to start living differently and we must grab it with conviction. Together we can all prioritise slowing down, staying connected and living in the moment allowing personal awareness to be at the heart of our choices. We can choose to buy less, shop local, grow our own and work with our communities to create a flourishing life for all.
Emma Whitham is Founder Director of MOO Food, an environmentally conscious, volunteer led, community food company based in Muir of Ord.
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