I have a huge sense of personal responsibility. I feel responsibile for taking care of others, I feel responsible for the emotions of others in what I think, do or say. I feel responsible for doing what I can to reduce my impact on this planet and not to behave selfishly. I therefore find it very difficult when others take no personal responsibility at all. Especially when it comes to matters environmental.
We are currently having one of the driest winters and one of the worst droughts for 30 years. There has been a hosepipe ban in the south since last summer. If we do not have above average rainfall before the Spring there is talk of standpipes in the street. Yet I know people who will have a bath every day with apparent ignorance of just how much water they are using and how much they waste just on a day to day basis. I find this totally selfish. An attitude of "I'm all right Jack". They don't care as long as they switch on their taps and there is water coming out of it. The fact total escapes them that due to their lack of personal responsibility they and all the millions of others with the same attitude, will be responsible for all of us having a limited or restricted water supply later this year and no doubt at that point they will be the first to complain. We are incredibly lucky in this country. We have clean, drinkable water at the turn of a tap and we take it for granted. This is a luxury in many other countries where water is essential to life but not that readily available or even drinkable.
I don't know if it's plain ignorance or arrogance but we can't avoid the effect we are having on this planet. Many people are happy to adopt the 'head in the sand' approach but at some point and probably when it's too late, they will be forced to wake up and see that careless disregard for others and our environment cannot be sustained.
I visited the Brighton Earthship this weekend. A self-sufficient living environment complete with solar panels, wind turbine, water collection and soon to be installed grey water recycling. The idea that we can all live sustainably with minimum impact on the carbon cycle and build using recycled materials - in this case large numbers of car tyres.
Living an Earthship might be a bit extreme for most of us but we can all do our bit. We can all think less selfishly, because when it comes down to it - other people's selfishness affects us all.
I'll get off my soapbox now ...