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Saturday, April 22, 2006

Love the Earth

Earth in Bloom/Kate YuanWe should love other people.

We should love ourselves.

We should love the earth, too.

Today is , but it is not a time for celebration, yet. Unfortunately as humans we have done little for the world that deserves celebration. We can't even agree on a date for Earth Day.

Whatever the date however, it's a good time to serve as a reminder that as humans we should all start to give back to the world what it gives to us.

Life.

Our soul, our body and our mind are houses of life that require loving care and attention for their healthy up-keep. Our world is also a house of life, it is our house, and it needs care and attention on a grand scale.

Sometimes we find it difficult to share our world. We've used it as spoils of war, we've divided it and damaged it, we've left our mark on it.

But we cannot divide our conscience as easily as we do the land.

We all have to contribute in the protection of the environment. We have to raise our children with an awareness of the world in which they live, and the necessary steps that must be taken to raise the quality of the world back to the way it was before we started sucking it dry.

Ultimately, if we treat the house of life we live in as a disposable planet, that means we are also just as disposable.

So, whether you respond to the task ahead of us by energy conservation, going organic or some other "green" means, what is most important is to change your mindset.

This is something that I believe is already happening, and which gives hope to a better future, if not for us then for our families that will succeed us.

I'm going to give a true, but possibly strange, example.

A child today watches an old Daffy Duck cartoon, where the animated character is playing Robin Hood. He has to persuade Porky Pig as Friar Tuck that he is who he claims to be, by stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

Of course the completely incompetent duck fails at this, but in one attempt he aims to swing down from a high point with a tree creeper and knock the rich horseman off his horse. Daffy simply succeeds in banging into every tree that is in his way, all the way down to the ground. So the duck takes an axe and hacks down every tree to clear a path for his second attempt.

The little boy watching the cartoon looks shocked. "The poor trees," he says.

I'm sure the generation of children that watched that cartoon in its heyday wouldn't have thought about the "poor trees".

We are changing. We are becoming ever aware.

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times says American college students need to step up to the plate and work on saving this planet by being "the Greenest Generation."

You need to become what the writer Dan Pink calls "the Greenest Generation,", Freidman writes, and build the institutions, alliances and programs that will turn back the black tide of climate change and petro-authoritarianism, which, if unchecked, will surely poison your world and your future as much as fascism once threatened to do to your parents' world and future.

This is your challenge. Who will rise to it?

Freidman is right, but as we need a global answer to his question, this should be a global response.

We must all take up the challenge.

And though time will tell how well we've answered it, and in turn how we commemorate future Earth Days, at least we'll know that we tried.

That is what real love is after all, our very best attempts in the face of adversity.

Picture courtesy of image owner Kate Yuan.

My Life Handbook: Part one: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

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