Sunday, April 22, 2012

This earth day, forget about future generations

One credo of the environmental movement is “protect the earth for future generations.” This sentiment comes from the Iroquois who, in their wisdom, thought about the future consequences of decisions that they made in the present. This is a lovely idea, but we need to do more.

We need to think about the real time consequences of our decisions.

If we really want to love the earth, we need to love the people on it. All of them. And we need to do more than buy low impact dish soap or hemp clothing for our own families to help them out.

Almost half of the people in the world live on less than $2 a day. That’s $730 a year. I can’t even imagine what that is like.

And that unimaginable feeling is why we in the west focus on eco-friendly chairs and lamps and other such distractions that lead us to believe we love the earth. Because thinking about so many people living on $730 a year is overwhelming, and heartbreaking.

What to do about it? There’s a lot of debate around this issue. Some give charity, some critique charity. Some buy free trade, others critique it. Some invest in micro-loans to create jobs for the poor, others critique the work that micro-loans create. It’s hard to help a sister out in the 21st century.

All I can offer is this - search deep in your soul and find a way that you can help people that is meaningful to you and meaningful to the person you are helping. How do you know if it’s meaningful to them? Ask. In this age of communication technology, there has got to be a way to reach out even if through a telegraph. Talk to people. And love. That’s what we need here on earth. If we do more to care about the people living on earth now, then we enable more people to care for future generations.

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