We are raised with a series of underlying assumptions. I cannot count the number of times that I have heard such nonsense as “nice guys finish last”, “boys will be boys” and “children should be seen and not heard”. Each of these, in their own way are an assault on humanity. Even so, experience and insight has taught me that being compassionate, helpful and kind has benefits beyond what most folks who are not “nice” will never be able to understand. The excuses we make for our young men only allow continued violence and subjugation of women. This, in turn, suppresses discussion about the way we want people to behave. Anyone who has ever put the time required to raise thoughtful and educated children knows that they are more likely to teach us important things about being human than most adults are able to. Selfless giving and true concern for the welfare of others seems to be socialized out of most of us before we graduate high school. Not that it matters, but each and every negative aspect of my own socialization came from interaction with damaged individuals and when I tried to help them to heal, I was more often than not penalized or held out for ridicule as my “reward” for the effort. somewhere deep in the dark ages of human “development” scars that were poorly healed continue to rear their heads in our “modern” world.
Many wonder why so many “cultures” have found so little of merit in altruistic behavior. I cannot claim to know, but I have my theories. The underlying assumptions that have been handed down to us from Calvinists and racists that certain groups are sub-human or that they are guilty of creating their own difficulties in life have led to shunning our responsibility as human beings to help one another and lift those with no boot straps out of difficult situations. Selfless giving is actually scientifically proven to be human nature. Science is shedding light on this truth, however, the coverage of this important point is sadly lacking. It is part of the ego defense system to put others down in an attempt to lift ourselves up, but as many are beginning to learn, the ego is only capable of lying to us about the nature of things that go on in our environment.
We seem to have bred a generation of “victims” who delight in decrying how bad they have it instead of sharing what they do have to make the lives of others better. Even the self-avowed Progressives that I know have a hard time with sharing resources. The value of sharing and caring for fellow human beings is known well by those who are true to their nature. When we act badly, it reflects that in our own development, there was one person who took more from us than they were willing to give back. These events, somewhere back in the distant past, results in no longer opening themselves up to “that kind of abuse” or neglect. I’m here to tell you that abuse and neglect are all around us If we do not see our way through to the other side of the pain that it creates in the world around us, we are useless, not only to our fellow human beings, but to ourselves as well. When we began to plant trees as a rag tag group of friends and co-workers back in the Eighties, there was no intention to reap a great harvest or get ahead by the actions that we undertook. There is no attempt to enrich ourselves by planting trees today. What we do is plant trees appropriate to the sites that we reforest to make the world better for everyone.
To plant enough trees to reduce the likelihood of flooding occurring at our house would take a legion of people the better part of a century, but do we use this as an excuse to stop planting trees? No. To plant enough trees to significantly reduce global warming might take millions of people thousands of years. Do we use this as an excuse to stop doing what we know to be the right thing to do? No! Even when others look at you as a fool for doing what you believe in, that is not a signal to change and submit to their short sighted version of what makes sense. This is the time to redouble your efforts to make positive change occur in the world around us, reach out and make the changes that you feel are necessary to create the kind of world that we wish that we all lived in. This is the essence of how the true heroes in this world operate. Instead of blaming others for our own shortcomings or looking for excuses for our own substandard behavior, it has become necessary that we all make certain sacrifices for the good of one another, the planet and future generations. Supporting one another in becoming all that we can be, following our dreams and keeping our responsibility to one another in mind seems to me to be a good place to start.
Here at ECO-Tours, we will continue to plant trees, not so that we become wealthy, not even to eventually relax in our retirement, but instead to continue an unbroken tradition of doing what is best for the most people, for the planet and for the generations that come after us. We plant trees so that they (who we will most likely never meet, may enjoy the blessing of trees for shade, for flood control for the integrity of the climate as well as our their supply of oxygen. We encourage those who think about these issues to send money that we will convert into trees, humbly plant, and ask for nothing in return but the honor to serve others in our quest for a better planet. If we are able to share a little environmental wisdom, or craft some beautiful artifacts with our guests, if we share a bit of fun around the campfire in the evening or begin a process that grows within our visitors, that is always a welcome result. We put our efforts into the mix solely for the trees and all that comes about because of it is a beautiful bonus. Please come join us for a potting up party, a canoe ride to a plant-in, a bike tour to an eco-friendly home or garden or just come for a walkabout. We do ask our guests and visitors to give us advance warning of your availability and tell us what your interests and intentions are. We often learn as much from you as we can teach and as we learn to heal others we also heal ourselves. As a beautiful friend used to delight in saying, give until it hurts, but prepare to be rewarded more than you can imagine!