30 August 2009

98 Days - We Have the Heart of Hitler...

We must face up to it. We are Hitler.

We are the doctors who performed unspeakable experiments. We are the scientists, engineers and architects who designed and built the .... We are the teachers who said nothing as we watched children disappear from our classes.

We are the soldiers who were "just doing their jobs." We are the neighbours, the citizens, the nation, the world leaders who turned a blind eye.

We are ALREADY murdering hundreds of thousands of people every year due to the ravages of climate chaos. We have ALREADY condemned millions more - along with most life on Earth - to a future with no future.

We have been so profoundly trained to only care about ourselves that we are blithely going along with this second holocaust, not questioning it, not taking any responsibility for it.

Why did Anne Frank's diary touch the hearts of countless millions of readers? Was it because she was a child? Or was it because it only came to light after the slaughter - when knowing didn't have to compel action?

Why do we seem so incapable of responding to the climate-change-innocent who are already suffering terribly? How is it that we can continue to live with obscene prosperity (damn The Secret), knowing that our wealth - the Western lifestyle that we so blithely accept without question - is killing 30,000 children per day because they don't have enough to eat?

Why, how have we allowed ourselves to be so blinded to the fate of these children, of our children?

Every day that we don't feel deeply for our brothers and sisters and children, that we don't demand a change, that we don't stop slaughtering animals and eating meat, that we don't implore our leaders to lead us away from climate catastrophe, we are no better than Hitler.

P.S. I do not, for one moment, say this lightly. It hurts so much to know this, to understand the science, to bear witness to the suffering in Africa and the Arctic and the Pacific island nations and now major world cities that are running out of water - and to see no movement towards an agreement in Copenhagen that will get greenhouse gas emissions to virtually zero to safeguard this beautiful planet for my niece, my stepsons, and my grandchildren.
Compassion MUST go hand in hand with courage in this fight to save the world from climate catastrophe. We must be brave, damn it. Courage is feeling the pain, the fear, and doing the right thing anyway.

Courage comes via French from the Latin
cor meaning "heart." And, it turns out, the French word "courage" replaced the Old English ellen, which meant "zeal, strength."

Perhaps it's zeal and strength that we're missing. Maybe we're all numbed and flabby from our two-dimensional lives spent sitting down, in front of screens.

Please, could we muster a little zeal, strength, compassion and courage?

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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?