Saturday, November 26, 2016

Our earth

Our earth is beautiful. I love her how she is now, and I will love her with tears in my eyes even when her ice caps are gone, her coasts are flooded, and we’re migrating north. It seems we humans get to decide what we want to do with earth. For example, we could pump the oil out of the ground, knowing that a lot of it will spill in the water, so that lots of the animals and birds will die and more people won’t have clean water to drink. We decide. Is this worth it, just so that we can have some measure of stuff, comfort, and freedom that we can get more easily by doing this?
We all breathe the same air. We are part of the earth. In everything we do, we are participating in this decision, of what to do to her, what to do to ourselves. There is no way to not participate. Each time I buy a product made of plastic I’m participating; and I just bought plastic today — I’m guilty with everyone else. We are all in a dialogue, through our words and our actions, deciding what to do to our earth, what to do to ourself.

Today, this dialogue is most visible at Standing Rock where ten thousand people are gathered, with the support of millions more of us around the world, to say “No” to another oil pipeline. Now this is an extreme case, where the “benefit” of building the pipeline is mainly that certain companies, their investors, and the politicians paid by them will get more money/power if we build it. The rest of us might get slightly cheaper gas prices so we can melt those ice caps a little sooner. And then if the pipeline breaks, the Missouri river will turn black with oil all the way down to New Orleans. This is not new — we already did it in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and that’s still a mess, just as one example. I will still love earth even if we do this to her as well, but we don't have to.

What we see at Standing Rock is that collectively we value the profits of companies, the wealthy, and their politicians, more than we value the health of the earth and its inhabitants. We will even use excessive violence and cruelty against our fellow humans to maximize these profits. I say “we” because our elected government is doing this and we are all supporting them in it through taxes, votes, our excessive consumption of everything that requires oil, and our silence in the face of violence. Standing Rock is the tip of an iceberg. I cannot concisely describe the violence we are doing to other people around the world for the same cause.

So, my friends, I’m asking you: be conscious of what causes you are supporting. And if, like me, you find that your actions are not in harmony with what you really love, pay attention to that, and take the time to figure out what to do about it. It won't be simple but that's okay. For me, it's changed my entire life, how I think, and what I do with my time and money. I’m willing to talk about this, without bringing blame and shame into it. It is worth it, to live a life where your actions and your heart are consciously aligned. Everything becomes even more beautiful.