Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands delivered her annual Christmas speech on December 25, 2011 where she expressed her concerns for the future of the environment (rough translation):
Christmas, the festival of light in darkness, raises the expectation of peace and goodwill. Just today, the desire to help us be accompanied feelings of discontent and uneasiness to overcome us and to work for a living in harmony with fellow human beings and nature.
Many in our world live in tension and uncertainty about existence. Anxiety and concern for the morrow dominate in Europe and in our country. Care is not just about individual welfare but the welfare of all and the stewardship of the earth. With our precious planet is handled carelessly and what they give us is poorly distributed. Poverty and inequality affect the quality of life and threaten social solidarity. Selfishness and the desire to create abundance blind to damage to our natural environment and undermine community. View of the finiteness of what the earth can give, and on the sustainability of society searching.
No country can benefit from it when people only focus on personal gain. In determining the value of all funds should be more than just money. Sigh money and enrich themselves distort the purpose of the economy. To the distress of those who do not speak for themselves can not be ignored. Everyone should be able to participate in wealth-sharing so that human welfare is always connected to the public interest. Moreover, in every decision the quality of the future count. Which lies in protecting nature and the environment, respect for the cultural heritage and recognition of the intangible values that give meaning to civilization. The decisions that are made now is the life of those who come after us in the game, therefore no one should close their eyes. With knowledge and information we can arm ourselves. This fear may not be the motive, but a new sense of universal responsibility.
In the Earth Charter is worded this principle: “The earth, our home is a unique community. The global natural environment with its finite resources is everyone’s concern. Protecting the vitality, diversity and beauty of the earth is a holy mission. ” “Sustainability” is called today. This requires not only new requirements and rules for sustainability but also consciously dealing with all that nature gives us. The earth that nourishes life but can not speak for themselves, must voice. In all small and large decisions that will have to be reflected.
Encouraging the many initiatives for good intentions into practice. Economical use of energy and water is available to all. Critical awareness and buy show the whole range of goods and services to influence. Entrepreneurs focus more and more responsible production and take into account the climatic effects. Many people work towards the conservation and teach children closely at the irreplaceable treasures of the earth. For the connection between agriculture and environment put many will enthusiastically. In all these possibilities, we can address each other. Old and new media information and call us to take responsibility, each at their own level. What starts in the small can grow into a new culture of concern for the future. Who wants to change the world, must simply begin with himself.
All those hopeful inspire change from society get less attention in the news than worrying about money and good. A diffuse sense of unease characterizes the confidence crisis of our time. In daily work is often a shortage of experienced vision and ideals. Lack of space for individual responsibility discourages its use. Feelings of anger and powerlessness call aversion to rhetoric and rules. But fight or flight overlooking reform of structures and lifestyles. The challenge is to do something themselves, along with others and involvement in the community. Everywhere people are already taking their own initiatives to a more conscious way of life. This offers hope for a new perspective. It is the youngsters who encourage us to do so today. The force of conviction, courage and confidence they seek allies and inspire their environment with a positive momentum.
Mahatma Gandhi once said: ‘The earth has enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed.’ As creatures endowed with reason and conscience may be requested from us that we translate this into daily care for the earth and commitment to a just society. Connection with the neighbor and the world around us is Jesus himself lived. The message of peace and goodwill to our Christmas uittillen above the fear and uncertainty of these times. Let us say what we hope and do what we can.
I wish you all a blessed Christmas!
To watch a video of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix’s speech please click the link below:
Kersttoespraak Koningin in 2011
Photo courtesy of Het Koninklijk Huis