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09/02/2019

A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with Alison Murdoch Tibetan Buddhist, writer, & editor.

A spiritual comment and prayer to begin the day with Alison Murdoch Tibetan Buddhist, writer, & editor.

Last August, a 16-year old schoolgirl called Greta Thunberg decided to stage a one-person protest to draw attention to the climate crisis. Ignoring the pleas of her parents and teachers she sat herself down on the cobblestones outside the Swedish parliament and didn’t budge until the general election in September. Her premise was: why bother to learn anything in school if politicians won’t pay attention to the facts? “Instead of worrying about the future, you should try to change it while you still can,” the small girl in pigtails told TIME magazine.

Greta’s simple act of defiance has now gone viral. By the end of last year at least 20,000 students around the world had skipped their studies to demand action on climate change, including a mass school walkout in Australia. In December she was invited to speak at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. In January she addressed the World Economic Forum at Davos, arriving after a 32-hour train journey in preference to the private jets used by many of the other delegates. Whatever you feel about truancy and climate change, it’s an impressive example of what one supposedly powerless individual can achieve.

One of the key messages of Tibetan Buddhism is that we all have more power and potential than we acknowledge. Not many of us will be called to prominence on the international stage. But if we stand up and speak out even in small ways for what we know is right, we’ll definitely have an impact, which may then extend further than we’ll ever know. “It is my moral responsibility to do what I can,” Greta told the press. Let’s pray that we can all find the strength and courage to play our part, however small, in creating a better future for ourselves and others.

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2 minutes

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Sat 9 Feb 2019 05:43

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