Editorial: Creativity and innovation on Mother Earth Day

Lately, our little bit of paradise has been bombarded with some pretty heavy issues. These run the gamut from murders to politics to the upheaval in the police force and everything in between.  In light of all that is going on, we figured that we would divert to a couple of topics of a lighter nature.  

Today is first ‘official’ celebration of World Creativity and Innovation Day (#WCID); incidentally, it is celebrated six days after Leonardo da Vinci’s birthday and one day before International Mother Earth Day. According to the United Nations, #WCID is “a day to raise awareness of the role of creativity and innovation in problem-solving and by extension, in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.”   #WICD may now have an official day on the calendar but the concepts and goals should be pursued and integrated into societies worldwide, especially the focus on small and medium-sized enterprises and the youth in promoting innovation and creativity.

As with all things initiated with the United Nations (U.N.), the goals are lofty and the concepts are slathered in a euphoric optimism.  We often feel that if the United Nations were to distill its messages to appeal to a more mainstream audience, then they would have greater impact. But that is a topic for another day.

When it comes to #WICD, the lofty goal is simply to look at development more holistically and it rests on creating “a platform for the promotion of examples and best practices that highlight the use of creative thinking and technologies toward the achievement of sustainable development.”  Yes,  that is actually a quote from the U.N. so it is proof positive that they can deliver their messages in a direct and easily understandable way. 

This is a concept that we should weave into our way of life because if we rely on best practices and couple them with creative thinking and technologies, we will find that we can solve most of our problems.

While you are in a mood to think holistically, tomorrow is International Mother Earth Day which has been established to “remind each of us that the Earth and its ecosystems provide us with life and sustenance.”  Global conflict surrounds us and humans seem to be obsessed with fighting and dominating their geographical regions.  It does not take a genius to realise that we live on a relatively small planet with dwindling, finite natural resources and we should all do our part to preserve it for generations to come.  While this is a nice bit of logic, the complex simplicity of humans drive us to do otherwise. 

It is likely for this reason that the U.N. decided to give Mother Earth her day so that people can take a couple of steps backwards and acknowledge that we are all intertwined.  Our decisions have impacts, not just on our lives but those of our neighbours and on generations to come.  Those neighbours can be as close as next door, or in cases such as pollution and global warming, across the globe.  

The unfortunate thing is that days such as these have no real teeth and have little impact beyond being established.  In fact, for the ordinary person on the street, they do not even know they exist.  There is no one promoting the message to any great extent, so it gets lost in the other issues that people have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.  

Be that as it may, we will happily promote these messages.  People may deem them to be unnecessary and choose to ignore them, but we hope that everyone that reads this will pause and take just a few minutes to reflect on the importance of these messages on their lives and the lives of future generations.  It should not take the United Nations to point out “the interdependence that exists among human beings, other living species and the planet we all inhabit” or the “significant non-monetary value” that creativity and culture “contributes to inclusive social development, to dialogue and understanding between peoples” but it helps that they do.  We could all choose to ignore the messages and concepts, but to do so will be to our detriment, locally and globally.  And we could argue that we are too small to make a difference, so why bother? But if we all think that way, we will be leaving a dismal legacy for future generations.

Mother Earth is our home and the inhabitants of this big blue marble are our neighbours!  Let us not forget that!

So, today, tomorrow and every day, be creative and innovative as you seek to pay tribute to Mother Earth.

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