A short-story about the destruction of the Rainforest and a lost way of life

Rainforest Child

   You wake in a beautiful tranquil place; warm, safe and happy.  You are a child in the rainforest of the Amazon, your home. All around you are trees a hundred feet high and far older and wiser than man.  Here and there the sun breaks through dappling with light the dark green luxuriant undergrowth.

   You watch through the eyes of a child as beautiful butterflies, flaunting kaleidoscope wings dance from scented flower to scented flower.  You see and hear the song of the rainforest; your home.  But you know from your father, who knows from his ancestors that although you belong to the rainforest, the rainforest does not belong to you. It feeds you, cloths you, gives you its music and keeps you safe and you must respect it.  You must take from it only what you need and the rainforest will replace it for you. This is the way of your people.  It has always been the way of your people.

   A short distance away is your village.  You can see it now.  See and hear the sights and sounds of everyday life lived, as it has always been lived, for countless centuries.  You can see your friends playing, running, jumping and scrambling, delighting in the smallest of make believes.   You can hear your mother scold your father for his idleness and then laughter.  All is well in your world.  But then you hear it, another sound, an ugly alien sound which is not of your home, but of the world beyond.  You know that sound.   It is the sound of the roaring animal with metal teeth that cuts and rips the trees and slaughters your home.  It is the sound of destruction for you, your family and your way of life lost, perhaps, for ever.

   You run to your village.  You see the tears in your mother’s eyes, but she cannot stop them.   You see the hopeless futile anger in your father’s face and know that he cannot stop them,  and if you were older you would know that you are not the first, nor will you be the last, lost way of life carelessly,  thoughtlessly  and criminally tossed aside and disposed of.  But you are a child and have not yet learnt that you have no freedom, nor the right simply to be.

The traditional way of life of tribal peoples is under constant threat.  ‘Survival International’ is the only organization that champions their rights, helps them defend their lives, protect their lands and determine their own future and I am proud to be a supporter.

Tribal peoples have developed ways of life that are largely self-sufficient and they do not take from nature’s resources any more than she can replace.  Many of the world’s staple crops and drugs used in Western medicine originate with them, and have saved millions of lives. This knowledge will die with them, unless we help.  Their way of life will be destroyed, unless we help.

Please click the Survival International link to find out more. Thank you.