Happy Earth Day, 2009! OK, we did the perfunctory observance, like good citizens. Now, is it back to business as usual? Back to polluting and trashing the Earth till next April 22nd?
Since 1970 when the first Earth Day was observed, we may have become more environmentally aware, but have we really accomplished much in the way of affecting significant change in the way we relate to our Mother? Seems like we've gone on trashing her just as badly, if not more, as we did before we gave her her own special day. Shouldn't every day be Earth Day?
We may have more awareness about the plight of Big Mama, we may feel good about recycling and using environmentally friendly products, but when it comes right down to it, we're still the source of Mama's biggest problem. Her children just can't seem to get along.
This sibling rivalry theme we've been acting out for thousands of years -- aren't we long overdue to give that one up? How can we ever expect to live harmoniously with the Earth if we can't get it together to live in harmony with each other?
If Earth is our Mama then we're all her children and if we're all her children, then we must be family. Yet the vast majority of us walk the earth, as foreigners to the planet, like tourists who've arrived from some other land. We're strangers to our Mother, ourselves, and each other; separated from knowing our true nature.
In survival, we descend to our lowest common denominators: aggression, competition, greed, scarcity, suspicion of those who don't look or sound like us. Remember the cowboys and the Indians? We're still at it. The outcome is what we've got; war, climate crisis, poverty, hunger and disease, conflict.
Or as the Buddha called it: suffering. We suffer here. We suffer because we've forgotten who we are. We treat each other, our family members, as enemies. We treat our Mother like she's our slave.
Is that any way to treat the one who has protected us, and with the true loyalty of a mother, has always been here for us? With great love, she has held us, given us our home, our food, our water, our place to unfold and become who we came here to be.
But today, our Mama weeps. She weeps because she knows the hour is late and her health is deteriorating rapidly. She's developed severe hot flashes, asthma, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome and congestive heart disease. You try thriving under those conditions!
Let's face it, we've been brats. We've been disrespectful and abusive. We've been out of control addicts with no regard for the consequences of our actions, taken at her expense. Like most spoiled children, we've taken Big Mama for granted.
Poor Mama has been trying hard to get our attention for centuries. Up until now, we haven't cared much about her problems. Many still doubt the scientific evidence of her decline, so we've acted like a bunch of drunken pirates, robbing her of her dwindling resources, polluting her skies and her seas, and overpopulating the land, securing our dominion at the expense of our own futures.
Alas! It is questionable whether we're going to pull off turning things around in time to save our Mama. Looks like she might to save herself. But to save herself, will it require her to destroy us?
What is that strange instinct some animals have to eat their own babies? Research has shown that adult animals cannibalize their young if their own survival is threatened. Has Big Mama reached this point with us?
Consider the plight of the polar bear, our most endangered animal. Conservationists say the polar bear will become extinct in a little over 40 years if action is not taken now to tackle climate change.
Global warming is destroying the polar bears' main habitat at such an increasing rate; the U.S. National Geological Survey predicts 2/3 of their habitat in Alaska will be destroyed by 2050. As the sea ice melts and their food sources decline, polar bears are forced to swim further and further to distant ice floes, the arduous swim causing many to drown in the process. Some may reach a disconnected floe and be trapped, unable to return.
According to Polar Bear SOS, a campaign of the National Defense Resources Council:
Some polar bears have even been recorded cannibalizing other bears, including a female polar bear in her maternal den. This extreme behavior has never been observed in decades of polar bear study.
Is the polar bear Big Mama's messenger? Are we the ultimate polar bears on the food chain? Is it already too late for them and for us? Not if we focus our awareness and get committed to making major changes in how we live, starting now.
With the Obama administration in place, we are poised to begin taking action in the direction of tackling our climate crisis. But each of us must do our part, right where we are. Yes, we must expand the development of Mama-friendly technologies, break our dependence on foreign oil, drive less and in fuel efficient cars and use earth friendly products. But there's more. We must also come together as her children, see ourselves as family and unite as one.
I couldn't have picked a more appropriate video to share with you than the one you're about to see. It comes from The Global Oneness Project. This is the shortened version. I encourage you to take the time to view the 20-minute version on their web site. Its story is both beautiful and alarming.
We live on the most glorious piece of real estate in the universe. Shouldn't we be willing to pay any price to make it right with Mama? In the end, it is our own hides we're saving.
Here are 3 things you can do everyday, to help take care of Mama and unite the family:
1) Treat yourself with love, kindness and respect and let that be the way you treat the rest of Big Mama's children.
2) Let every day be your Earth Day observation. When you honor your own mother this Mother's Day, let's also honor our Earth Mama. Remember her on Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, etc. Use any excuse to celebrate our Mother.
3) Wake up each day and let gratitude be your first thought. Let it be the wings that carry you through your day. Gratitude banishes darkness and opens the door to loving life fully. Walking in gratitude automatically places you in skillful thinking and skillful actions. Extend that gratitude to the rest of Big Mama's children wherever you go.
We don't have to wait for the government to legislate change in order for us to change how we think and act. Big Mama now has 6.7 billion children and our family is expected to reach 9 billion by the year 2040. If we think we have problems now, imagine what it'll be like for those who come after us?
The ultimate test of man's conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.
Imagine those words of thanks coming from the future and do the right thing today.
Let us hear from you. How will you make it right with Big Mama today? Please leave your thoughts and comments below. Your voice matters!
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Now, go love your Mama!