If you grew up in the last half of the 20th century as I did, you are no doubt aware of the ever-looming threat of complete annihilation that civilization has constantly faced.
But at the same time, if you weren’t a racist or otherwise disposed to bigotry, you kept waiting for the whole world to come together as one thing. To create an economy that took care of everyone and environmental practices that were beneficial to all living things.
These were the things I hoped for. When I was religious, those were the things I prayed for. But now that I am older and nearing my best before date, I realize that neither of these things has come about. Nor are they showing any sign of doing so.
Hate and bigotry and intolerance and greed control everything that happens these days. And that has been the case for pretty much my whole life. And probably yours too if you think about it.
I have seen generations come and go in my 70-odd years here and nothing has changed. As soon as someone is old enough to make their own decisions they get gobbled up by the big machine, and they are so busy holding all that together that they have no energy to work on the bigger issues.
My life was like that. And I’m sure to one degree or another, yours is like that too. Politics keep on attracting people who are good at playing the same old game. Nothing new happens other than token gestures in isolated pockets.
I don’t know how many years I have left. None of us do. I just know that looking back, there have been a lot of changes in the tools we have to work with, but the purposes we put them to have remained stuck in the same rut humanity has always found itself in.
And now we’re seeing things we have never seen before because the earth, which nurtured us and provided us with everything we needed to survive, has finally reached the point where it’s demanding some respect.
And while I have my doubts about God and heaven and hell, I have a great deal of respect for the power of this planet, and its ability to cleanse and regenerate itself. And we now are facing the choice. Do we start respecting the power of the earth, because we realize the alternative is extinction? Or do we finally smarten up and start treating the earth like we actually care?