Beloved Flower Lover,
As florists we work with enjoy resourcing floral material each and every time. As florists we enjoy working with water, land and the shared space called our home. Earth. We see and hear of fights all the time about land, trees and so on. That eats up the neurotransmitters and opiates.That joy vibe. However we heard recently a shift in this discussion. An enjoyable dignified spirit of change. A way of finding joy and solace in what’s important to us. Fights occur not because we are different…., says Nobel Peace winner Maati, we wanted to hear more.
“When we remove the superficial layers of our differences we find a common ground”, she says. “How to allocate resources fairly without people feeling marginalise is my agenda”, she said. “Peace and the environment is an important element of life…. Water, land, grazing ground, farming land, resources. Sharing them equitably is at the heart of what our world agenda is about”
In 1977, Maathai founded the Green Belt Movement to plant trees in hopes of helping poor, rural Kenyans, especially women, by preventing environmental and social conditions from further deteriorating.
Maathai won the Peace Prize in 2004 after enduring death threats, whippings and being tear-gassed at a protest because of her devotion to forest preservation and her anti-corruption work. We wanted to learn more so began our floral journey. We found quotes such as,
“I’m very conscious of the fact that you can’t do it alone. It’s teamwork. When you do it alone you run the risk that when you are no longer there nobody else will do it.”
― Wangari Maathai, The Green Belt Movement: Sharing the Approach and the Experience
We found more material such as an interview where She spoke with the NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown about her ecology work and social activism in 2005.
“Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own – indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Recognizing that sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come”
― Wangari Maathai
So in the end we felt inspired to dedicate pieces of our floral work to her memory, inspired by this quote.
“In trying to explain this linkage, I was inspired by a traditional African tool that has three legs and a basin to sit on. To me the three legs represent three critical pillars of just and stable societies. The first leg stands for democratic space, where rights are respected, whether they are human rights, women’s rights, children’s rights, or environmental rights. The second represents sustainable and equitable management and resources. And the third stands for cultures of peace that are deliberately cultivated within communities and nations. The basin, or seat, represents society and its prospects for development. Unless all three legs are in place, supporting the seat, no society can thrive. Neither can its citizens develop their skills and creativity. When one leg is missing, the seat is unstable; when two legs are missing, it is impossible to keep any state alive; and when no legs are available, the state is as good as a failed state. No development can take place in such a state either. Instead, conflict ensues.”
― Wangari Maathai, Unbowed
We even found an animation piece she was involved with to help people explore how to manage land resources when they feel overwhelmed with a lack of resource.
So in summary, Wangari Maathai, the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, the founder of the Green Belt Movement in her home country of Kenya, an environmental group that has restored indigenous forests and assisted rural women by paying them to plant trees in their communities. Since 1977, it has planted more than 30 million trees in Kenya and has been replicated in dozens of other African countries.
She reminds us about peace and happiness in the face of adversity and that peace and happiness are not superfical and energised in the face of adversity, makes us all go forward.
Thank you for focusing on peace and happiness so we can energise and heal ourselves. The gift here is that you can be the protection for others in this world because you focus on universal love. It keeps us optimistic and so much more…..universal love.
The London Flower Lover
“Education, if it means anything, should not take people away from the land, but instill in them even more respect for it, because educated people are in a position to understand what is being lost. The future of the planet concerns all of us, and all of us should do what we can to protect it. As I told the foresters, and the women, you don’t need a diploma to plant a tree.”
― Wangari Maathai, Unbowed