Heartbreaking Earthweek

Once again the media circus has focused on three rings of diversion, rather than the salient issues of the day. After a week of coverage about the Boston Marathon Bombing and the limited coverage of the Fertilizer “Plant” Explosion in Texas, we are told that by simply picking up trash we can somehow atone for the ecological destruction that is unleashed throughout the year. 24/7/365 corporate outlaws are fed a steady diet of regulators looking the other way, doctors and hospitals silent in their complicity, drug companies poisoning our waterways with the tainted urine of their “customers” and corporate welfare in the form of our lives for their profitability. Rather than wallowing in this heartbreak and internalizing the morbid defeatism that can be engendered by this fiasco, I want to give voice to the infinite forgiveness and staying power of Mother Nature, her systems and the great gifts that await those who make living in harmony with her a priority.

Mother Nature has, without fail, nurtured life on this planet. She will continue to do so until the sun explodes into supernova. The track record for humans has not been so good or as long, but we have the opportunity to reassert our abiding love for the planet which many “primitive” cultures have done throughout our time on the planet. The earliest records that we can find point to civilizations who knew the value and sanctity of balance. Only since the oppressive influence of conquerors and exploiters have we seen the inhumanity which has led to our ecologic demise. I remember questioning my own mother about the origin of the word humanity. Why, if we call our species human, do we act so inhumanely? Wrestling with this question for nearly fifty years, I have come to one conclusion. We have told ourselves that human nature is to be violent, inhumane and coarse. This week, to honor the Earth, I am here to say that this but an illusion. This illusion has been cultivated by those who benefit from a divide and conquer strategy.

Humans are tender, abiding, helpful and compassionate. As I have said before, scientific research has proven that the only way to train us to be otherwise is to subject us to abuse and neglect. That is why I am here to say I love you and so too does the Mother Nature, Father Sun,  Grandfather Sky and Grandma Moon. The deeper truth that lasts forever has been covered up by generations of rich and powerful men, but their time is coming to a close. Criminal elements have been allowed access to the public discourse and we have every right to call them out on the basic assumptions that underlie their perverse rhetoric. A favorite term being used in the United States of America recently has been “job creators”. This is code for corporate welfare whores. The stodgy well-heeled elites that exploit “human resources” for the agglomeration of capital prefer to be seen as job creators because they do not want to be understood as part of the problem. They have a vested interest in being seen as knights on white horses riding in to save the day. My experience over the past half century has been quite the opposite. These elites are only interested in their own quality of life and they are always able to move away from the disasters that they leave in their wake.

A favorite sailing motto of mine is that fair weather sailors miss ninety percent of the fun. So too, at this time in the history of our species, great storm clouds not only dot the horizon, but rear up in nearly every direction. Ten thousand children die each and every day because their water sources are tainted. We have the technology to stop this terrible loss of life, but we lack the will to do so. The profit-makers would rather trademark clean water and charge folks for the opportunity to drink safely. Many thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands die daily from complications brought on by highly subsidized, non-food items being passed off as food. Billions of dollars are shunted to a few hundred people worldwide while the vast majority of the human population are asked to survive on less and less. This is not by accident, it is by design. The ruling classes have always been enamored with the pyramid. Billions at the bottom, one at the top and emulating this has become a deadly mantra for natural systems worldwide. The monetary pyramid is inverted, with the wealth floating to the top and the billions of exploited people fighting over the few scraps that the wealthy have not yet taken from us.

Luckily, there are more and more people who understand this mess, know how it came about and are committed to building a new society based on giving back, sharing the near-infinite resources of the planet and who have seen the writing on the wall that the current economic collapse reflects. The call went out with the first Earthday for people to reconsider the natural systems that make our lives here on planet Earth tenable. We may not have known as much then as we do today, but it was not so much about intellect back then, but about our hearts. The average person could look into the waters, choked by fish kills, or the teeming stacks of the industrial age and know that something was wrong. Two more generations have come since then and the changes that have occurred have been fought vehemently by the powerful people whop remain in control of the means of production. In fact, there is far more hazard to the invisible toxic pollution that we breathe, drink and eat daily than the gross and wanton destruction of fifty years ago.

Those who are creating a new society based on feeding people, protecting the planet and reducing our impact on the planet while allowing higher quality of life are to be commended. There are those who are making a living by installing what used to be called alternative energy systems. As these sources become our primary source of energy, a huge segment of ecological destruction will be squeezed out of existence. Many more people in the USA went into farming during the past three years than have ever gone into it before. The vast majority of these people are looking to sustainability and organic or bio-dynamic production methods that have the power to transform vast acreages from leaving a toxic legacy to healing damage done through generations of misuse, abuse and neglect. Is it odd to think that the same reality that guides human development can be extrapolated to the Earth herself? I think not. Abuse and neglect have gotten us into this dangerous and untenable position, maybe all we need to do to heal the damage is to begin to love and pay attention to the needs of the planet.

I offer my own experiences as a guide…the sanctity of all life needs expression though actions, for they speak louder than words. Reducing the world around us to parables or the bumper sticker slogans of modern life has caveats, but I would like to end with a certain truth that I saw expressed in the form of a bumper sticker. It said:”If you are not depressed sometimes, you are not paying attention.” However, letting this depression linger and shutting yourself off to the infinite possibility that surrounds us is exactly what the oppressors are counting on. If you need encouragement,just plant a single seed and watch it grow. Nurture life and you may be surprised at what grows from that love, commitment and attention to another living thing. The majority agrees with one another and it is time for the ultra-wealthy to change their behavior. Build a community based on what really matters and you will find things can change in a heart beat.

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About otherfishwrap

One of the last of the Baby Boomers, I remember where I was when JFK was shot. Good story. Born during the Cuban Missile Crisis, my life has been spent studying, practicing skills and attitudes that reflect justice and the sanctity of Earth, Air, Fire, Water & Spirit. Trained as an educator, my life has been devoted to cultural development and social justice.
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