Firstly, I'd like to extend my best wishes for the new year to everyone who is reading this. I hope you, your friends and families are blessed this year with all the good health, prosperity and happiness that you all deserve.
20,084,122 people. That's comparable to the population of the country of my birth, Australia, which is slightly higher at 23,401,892.
Alcohol is the second consumable and addictive substance I have used over a long term which I have quit using. The other is nicotine. This might sound glib, but I found quitting smoking to be fairly stress free. Once I finished the pack of Nicorette gum that I bought for myself way back in 2012, I have never once considered polluting my lungs with tobacco fumes. Refraining from drinking has been more of an adventure; and one I want to write about.
The road signs on my journey to becoming a climate activist are marked by the following: two countries, two disasters, two fossils. And, above all else, my internationalist appreciation for the value of life; be it in our own neighborhoods, halfway around the world or in the future, has been my guiding light in encouraging others to join this fight.
This was originally posted on Facebook and Instagram on 19th of July 2020 to commemorate the seventh anniversary of then Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s declaration that any asylum seeker attempting to arrive by boat to Australia would never be resettled there.
The time of my secondary school graduation, 1998, still resonates like an earworm song. Early December was crackling with unspoken pressure as this was when final grades were given. They would determine both my tertiary education and employment prospects, and felt like the final arbiter of my existential value. I was reduced to anxious tears as so much hinged on them.
A variation of this sign has been seen at pro wrestling events over the years, stating that 'if (X Wrestler) wins, we riot'. This version of the sign prophesizes strife that could occur should the climate crisis not be tackled. The result should the world not move be grave for human rights.
Sometimes one can be fatalistic and indifferent to the customs, attitudes and processes we encounter in Japan. However, a deeper dive into a lot of it's consumer habits reveals a problem that needs to be urgently addressed against a backdrop of a dying planet.
I wrote this essay as part of an online organizing course I am taking at actbuildchange.com Please go there if you want to get skills to learn how to organize like MLK or Sylvia Pankhurst.