Did you hear the news? The omni-present "they" have discovered there are two, or perhaps three, more planets in our solar system. Maybe more! Not the current number of nine planets, as previously thought.
Yet there are "officially" still only nine planets in "our" solar system.
Any sane person might ask why we aren't hearing the news gleefully shouted from roof tops? It has, after all, been 76 years since the 9th planet, Pluto, was welcomed into our solar system family. Surely the discovery of three more planets is one of the major discoveries of this, or any, age!
Yet the all knowing "they", in this case the astronomical science community, are not prepared to declare openly the existence of these new heavenly bodies. For the time being they must remain closet planets. The reason? Well, it would require astronomers to alter the time honored definition and model of "The Solar System" as being composed of the sun and nine planets.
Just think of all the learned treatise and equations by the rock stars of astronomy that would no longer be accurate. Think of the planetariums and the thousands of solar system models and teaching aids that would now be as outdated as old Copernicus himself!
Such is the arrogance of us wee folk with our wee little minds; we who inhabit the small sphere known to ourselves as the planet Earth. There won't be ten, or eleven or more, planets in our solar system until we say so. Never mind that there really are ten or eleven or perhaps twelve planets in our solar system.
We in the so-called "green" movement may also be guilty of the same kind of arrogance, innocent though it may be.
This thought occurred to me the other day when I noticed a roll-on deodorant with the phrase "Save the Earth One Bottle At A Time" printed on the label. Isn't that what we are about, after all? Saving the Earth?
As if we, or anyone else could do such a thing. As if the Earth needs "saving" by us.
In fact, I suggest we should be doing something a little different.
In a few short months, the company I founded in 1976 with be "celebrating" its 30th anniversary. Somewhere along the way, our enterprise became a part of the "Save The Earth" movement. Some say, we are even one of the many pioneers of what has come to be called the "green industry".
Truthfully, I came to this remote part of the Texas hill country to do what I could to help make the world a better place. I would have used the word "greener" as well, but we didn't call it that back then. I might also have said I came here to establish a socially responsible business, which I did, but we didn't used words like that back then either. We made do with phrases like fair, just and honest.
Over the years we've have built a business that has as small of a negative footprint or impact on the Earth, the environment and other living things great and small, as any other business in the world today. No brag, just fact.
The real goal of my life and the business I founded, however, is something other than saving the Earth. There is an even greater, more lofty goal and that's also what we are about.
I suggest this same grand goal should be shared by every sane, responsible member of the human family. It is a job that only we can do; something we have the capability of bringing to a satisfactory conclusion. But having this ability is by no means enough. We must in fact make it happen.
If we fail, we will be the losers, not the Earth. If we fail, the misery we bring down upon ourselves will far eclipse any harm we may have done to the environment or to other forms of life.
The religions of the world would have us labor toward saving our so-called "souls" from one form of pain or another, all amounting to an everlasting punishment that will befall us in some other place, once we have passed on. Dare I say the truth? Dare I speak words of wisdom in the face of such insanity?
I won't be so bold as to preach to you about your own "soul". I will say that mine is not subject to the pains of fire and brimstone. Only my flesh and bones need fear such elements. And since I plan to leave them behind when I pass away from this world, I am certain the last thing I need fear is burning forever in an eternal Hell.
This world is certainly hell enough, thank you very much. Which is why it's important to pay attention to what we are doing in the here and now. This is where the future consequences of our actions are most likely to manifest.
Thirty years ago I looked around and saw a world that needed saving. Yet I knew it would be an impossible job for me or anyone else. So I decided not to waste my time trying to do something that could not be done. Instead I focused my attention and energy toward what I could do.
Today I am here to suggest the Earth does not need saving by us. The Earth is always in the process of taking perfect care of itself. Nothing is ever lost or destroyed by us humans, except our own dignity and our noble purpose. No, we cannot even extinguish a single life form or species, even when we appear to have wiped it out.
Life is more than equal to our worst efforts. What appears to have ceased living always finds a new and better form of expression at the time and place of its own choosing. If we believe otherwise we are only fooling ourselves.
Even if we humans could in fact suddenly cease existing, the Earth would go on fine without us. Trees falling in the forest would cause the same vibrations in the air as always. These sound waves would be perceived by various other living things, just not thought of as such. Giving names to everything is a distinctly human trait. Naming is important to us; understanding apparently not always as imperative.
Whether we exist or not and how well or poorly we exist is totally in our own hands. Each of us has total and complete responsibility over one and only one person. That person being ourselves.
Thirty years ago I realized there was only one way to really help save the world or perhaps in some small way make it a better place. I was blessed to see that really making a difference would only happen if I concentrated on making myself a better person: physically, mentally and spiritually. Doing so includes creating a personal environment for living and working that is positive, peaceful and in harmony with the rhythm of nature.
Learning to exist in harmony with the energy flow and bio-systems of the Earth is the greatest work and mission of each human person. Preaching to others about the right way to live is meaningless. Making an excellent example of one's own life is the only way to bring about real and lasting change.
I no longer fear for the Earth. However I do fear greatly for humanity. Will we prevail against the illusion of weakness and find the inner strength needed to defeat our greatest enemy. One that is even more daunting than blind greed or selfishness; fouler still than the worst demons we can imagine! Greater still than the darkness of ignorance and fear! More damning to the Earth than all toxic pollutants combined!
Each of us is our own worst enemy. Together, we can be hazardous to our health and harmful to the environment. Our ultimate triumph will be nothing less than saving us from ourselves. In doing so, we may well help save the Earth, one human at a time.
Enviroshop is maintained by dedicated NetSys Interactive Inc. owners & employees who generously contribute their time to maintenance & editing, web design, custom programming, & website hosting for Enviroshop.