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  • Writer's pictureOverturnTheTables

Grief and passion

I'm ok. Truly I am. But from time to time I get very upset and very angry about the environment.

One of the things that very much frustrates me is when people tell me I'm passionate. 'You are so passionate about the environment,' ...'it is clear you have a great passion' .... BLAH. This is quite wrong. Passion is what I feel when I teach SOR or Physics because I love the subject, I get very excited about the topics, I enjoy seeing people learn physics and SOR. I feel none of those things when I'm talking or thinking about the environment. I just feel very anxious and stressed. It is typical eco-anxiety as many people know now. But I'm not one to bottle up my anxiety, I feel that I need to act on it.

I also wanted to explain that I also go through waves of some of the 7 stages of grief quite regularly. Mostly because I still, in a way, am consistently grieving for the planet. The planet is dying, so it's like grieving something before it dies, or what I can only imagine what it is like to grieve a loved one when hearing that they have terminal cancer. That is how I feel about the environment. I don't feel particularly accepting much of the time, I am not content with what is happening and I've never had the shock or the bargaining phase, and I got over the denial phase a long time ago. But the rest are pretty constant and changing.

The point that I am trying to make here is that feeling these emotions are normal. I'm trying harder every day to turn these emotions into something constructive. But I'm over the majority of people who are happy to let a few very 'passionate' people do all the work because they see it as something that people are 'passionate' about. When we stop using the word passionate for things like the environment and I would argue for issues such as refugees and domestic violence etc. as well then something productive might come from it. People who strive to help improve the state of the environment I strongly believe do not get excited about that. They are just trying really hard not to let the earth run out of natural resources and not let us suffer from the impacts of climate change. Those are not things to be excited about. They are things to be worried about. Passion is the wrong word, and as you can see from my lengthy description, I'm not sure there is a word in the English language yet that explains how people who are striving for a better environment feel.

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