Silent Suicide

by Tanisha Mehta 

I am guilty.

I am guilty of burying my head in the sand and pretending that things aren’t that bad. I think the term is referred to as “Ostrich Politics”.

Yes, I don’t litter the streets, and occasionally I plant some trees or share some shocking statistics about human impact on the environment. I’m quick to criticise the government for putting the environment on hold for the sake of development, and I feel a garbage truckload of guilt every time I wrap something with cling film, but that’s pretty much it.

I don’t know where all my rubbish goes, I don’t reuse/recycle/reduce as much as I can, I’m not the most eco-conscious shopper, and I am the problem. I am guilty of slowly murdering our planet. It’s because of me and billions like me who fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum that the seas are polluted, animals are losing their homes, climate change is killing people, and the planet is retaliating through deadly tsunamis, cyclones, droughts, and famine.

There’s a war going on and it’s because of me.

It’s because of you.

We’re the only ones who can stop it.

Neutrality is not going to save the planet. We are running out of time, resources, and nature itself. We’ve left such a huge negative impact on this world, the plastic bottle we threw 3 years ago is still going to be there when our great-grandchildren die at the age of 80 (a scenario likely only if we don’t make things worse from here on out).

What is the environment? What is it made of? Is it just trees, water bodies, the sky? Is it the animals? Is it us? Are we a part of the environment?

We are born of this earth. We are made from it, just as any tree is. We are the most powerful part of the environment because we could save it or destroy it. It just depends on whether we choose to be silent or not.

Tanisha Mehta is a student of journalism and gender studies in Kenya. She enjoys exploring different mediums of storytelling, as an audience and as a creator. Her work has been published by Dwart Online, and the Partition Museum of Amritsar. You can find more of her writing on her blog,  

This piece was produced during The Great African Caravan Collaborative writing workshops in Nairobi Kenya focusing on the environment.

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Written by The Great African Caravan (1)

The Great African Caravan is the first major travel project by the Art Caravan Association. 12 international artists from all around the globe (India, Argentina, Britain, Uganda, Germany, Kenya and Kosovo) traveled for 7 months through the continent of Africa covering 10 countries.

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