Hana Keegan (British Virgin Islands, UWC AC 2011-2013)
The idea that 7 billion of us co-exist on one, single planet can be a scary one. We often forget that we and our lives aren’t an individual existence. We share this planet with a vast array of people, places, animals, colours, and sounds. Whilst sitting under the pale blue, ivory embellished ceiling of Oxford’s town hall, I tried in vane to grasp what I was actually doing there. Yes, there are prominent dangers of climate change and terrible injustices to human rights occuring worldwide. It is obvious that you want to make them right.
However, the reality is I am just beginning to figure me and my emotions out. How am I in a fit state to take on these far bigger problems? Attending as many environmental lectures as I could that day, the prospect of what the human race is inflicting on our environment got a bit overwhelming. However, even swimming in your own pool of confusion, its impossible to prevent the guilt seeping in; I’m confused, but at least I have a comfy, safe bed, and a plentiful supply of food to go back to. Am I much weaker than I thought I was?
With the break of a stunning Sunday, I decided to take a break by wandering through the sandy, golden stones and stretching green grasses of Oxford. Escaping into my own reality, the questions and problems of our Earth lifted from my shoulders and the irrevocable beauty of consistently moving life overtook my thoughts. Shared Planet didn’t only provide new ways of approaching the world but also provoked a sense of self questioning. The experience brought with it a new understanding of what it can mean to live your life.
-United Words team-