02 August 2009

126 Days to Go - TV Shuts Down Our Compassion, Music Opens Our Hearts

I sat yesterday morning in a waiting room with a big screen TV showing reruns with the sound muted. As someone who doesn't watch TV at home (who doesn't even have a TV at home), I was stunned by the violence. Absolutely stunned.

I don't get to watch TV very often, but when I do, I make sure to avoid the violent shows. Why this TV was tuned to such gore at 10 a.m. was beyond me, and I tried not to watch but kept getting drawn in by the flickering light. (Television takes the place of campfires in our psyche.) Anyway, I realized that as long as people in our culture spend their "free" time watching TV — and especially this desensitizing violent schlock — we don't stand a hope of becoming a compassionate species.

I came home and dosed myself with my favourite ecospiritual music. Music has the power and potential to open our hearts. I'd like to share one song with you.

Earth Mama, aka Joyce Johnson Rouse, sings a brilliant and moving song on her Under the Rainbow CD. It's called Love by Design, and it was inspired by the now famous question of green architect and designer, William McDonough:

  • How do we love all of the children,
  • of all species,

    for all time?

Earth Mama's chorus in this song is

  • How do we love
  • all of the children

    of all species

    for all time?

    How do we leave

    room in the future

    for the creatures of every kind?

    How do we love?

    Love by design...

She goes on to sing

  • As the world gets smaller still,
  • we must find the hope and will

    to share the world we build

    with children yet to come.

It's not often that songs mention future generations. This song is an important reminder that everything we do, every choice we make today, is going to impact the future of life on this planet.

It's a vast thought, and one that opens my heart to the possibilities of loving by design.

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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?