27 June 2009

162 Days - The Missing Ingredient: Valuing Life Itself

The special guy in my life has told me more than once that the human species probably isn't going to survive this challenge of all challenges ... because most of us don't care about anyone outside of our small group of family and friends.

In other words, our selfishness and chauvinism ("prejudiced belief in the superiority of one's own") will be the end of us.

Yesterday, I read something in a short piece called "Utopia" by Jim Anderson, which explains Peter's fear quite well:
Listen: It is not a law of nature [that our utopian dreams should fail]. It is simply what we do to each other. It is a failure somewhere deep in the heart, soul and psyche of human beings.

Maybe we should finally see this. The cold shattering reality is that in this world we really do not care enough for each other. The crushing force that finally destroys all beautiful visions of utopia and dreams of "Liberté! Equalité! Fraternité!" is that other life on this planet is never worth more than our own life. All we really know and finally care about is our own personal and private lives. This is the essence of all greed, brutality and inhumanity on Earth.
Gulp. Hold onto that thought as you contemplate what compassionate climate action looks like. We have to care for more than our circle of family, we must care for the whole human family. We must value more than just our little lives, we must value Life itself.

Call me an optimist, but I want to believe that we can (re)plant this seed of an idea — and it will sprout and grow and choke out the weeds of consumerism and individualism and greed.

To end, here's a nostalgic little gift of sunshine to help this seed along, a song of peace and love, originally by The Kingston Trio, and sung here by The Youngbloods (with poorish quality visuals).
C'mon people now,
Smile on your brother
Ev'rybody get together
Try and love one another right now

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?