Make the Planet Great Again, by Shunning the Idea of Greatness

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What the world leaders need to carry forward from Joaquin’s speech

So the Oscars are out this year. And we’ve had a big surprise in the best movie category, with parasite getting the highest honor. But where there is no surprise at all, is the category of the best actor. Joaquin Phoenix won the Oscar for the best actor, and deservedly so after being snubbed many times. But this man is so awesome, that he uses the platform to give a speech on the issue that concerns everyone on the planet, and not for his discussing his milestone. His words were enigmatic, and it has been trending as one of the best things to watch these days. Just have a look at his priceless words:

I’m full of so much gratitude now. I do not feel elevated above any of my fellow nominees or anyone in this room, because we share the same love – that’s the love of film. And this form of expression has given me the most extraordinary life. I don’t know where I’d be without it.

But I think the greatest gift that it’s given me, and many people in [this industry] is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless. I’ve been thinking about some of the distressing issues that we’ve been facing collectively.

I think at times we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me, I see commonality. I think, whether we’re talking about gender inequality or racism or queer rights or indigenous rights or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice

We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one nation, one people, one race, one gender, one species, has the right to dominate, use and control another with impunity.

I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe that we’re the center of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakeable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.

We fear the idea of personal change, because we think we need to sacrifice something; to give something up. But human beings at our best are so creative and inventive, and we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment.

I have been a scoundrel all my life, I’ve been selfish. I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and I’m grateful that so many of you in this room have given me a second chance. I think that’s when we’re at our best: when we support each other. Not when we cancel each other out for our past mistakes, but when we help each other to grow. When we educate each other; when we guide each other to redemption.

When he was 17, my brother [River] wrote this lyric. He said: “run to the rescue with love and peace will follow.”

And this is high time that we all start focusing on one goal, and every nation needs to put it in the top list of their agenda. This idea of greatness has drowned this entire planet, destroyed the ecosystems, plundered the forests, disturbed the wildlife. And still, the American election is run on the slogan of “Make America Great Again”. How much greatness does this nation want? A study suggests that if all the underdeveloped nations want to progress and have the same levels of facilities as the developed countries, it would take at least 3 more planets like earth. And every nation wants to become great. Every nation wants development, which is not a bad thing, but at what cost. What if the entire world becomes great and developed, and there’s no world left in this surge.

Vegetarianism is the need of the hour, not just as a personal choice, but it has become pertinent to save the planet. And many other major steps need to be taken in the same regard such as controlling population and thinking about our needs big time. We need to reconsider what we want, and what is being projected to us as our need by the world of advertisements and materialism, and these industries also turn out to be one of the biggest exploiters of the world.

Bhutan is one example, where one can see that materially rich is not everything. And development need not always be outer progress. It has something to do with inner growth too. Before it’s too late, certain global bodies like the UN must come forward to take cognizance of this issue. Greta Thunberg might be considered by many as just a hot-headed fool, but at least she’s created awareness. Now that must be utilized to get to some solution.


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