There are a few beings I love so very deeply that even the thought of them being harmed, suffering, or lost is totally unbearable to me. I instantly feel my heart ready to sob without restraint. One of those beings is Earth.
My feelings upon first readings of the new administration’s attitudes and objectives regarding Earth (climate change, loss of pollution controls, destruction of national lands) shocked me to my core and I wept openly each time I saw yet another report. My first reaction was perhaps childlike: “No, you can’t do that! That belongs to all of us! You have no right to do these things!” My words were only in my head or in the air of my voice as it left me. They were unheard and of no use, though I hoped Earth sensed them and knew she had not been abandoned by all of her children.
So I have anguished, cried, felt helpless, felt defiant, felt so many confusing emotions since this change in our government. I’ve had some time now to get over the initial shock and start to comfort my heart so I can clear my head for what to do. I have taken many walks at my country home and looked at Earth nearest me almost as if I were saying “goodbye.” All the while, I knew I was imagining a future at its worst.
But NO! This is not the way to face this challenge. It is a phase of waking up to a reality that cannot be ignored. It is facing the knowledge that a new urgency is present and I must stand up somewhere, somehow for what I love. This reflection is my first step to get past my personal fears. I need to share, need to hear from others, and need to connect to other minds and hearts. I need to hope we can discover ways to participate in preventing disregard for Earth and keep moving toward everything the Ecozoic era stands for.
I learned some lessons for myself while sorting the confusions causing my anxiety. I share them here as suggestions to consider, not commands.
One: Allow feelings of love and compassion to empower us. Don’t let anger and disappointment minimize our ability to act effectively. It is easy for anger about an issue to be misdirected, even toward those of like heart, especially when we feel helpless. We must not be caught up in the atmosphere of hate and blame. It’s time to enact our highest values to set an example of being steadfast but civil. We must also be forgiving of each other when we have difficulty meeting that standard.
Two: Realize the importance of connecting with and listening to those sharing basic principles of respect for Earth and inhabitants so that we may find our common voice to express with uncommon strength. But also talk patiently to those you know who are not aware of the consequences of some of the administration’s proposals. Give them a chance to express themselves and listen closely to what you can learn. Start a dialog, not a fight.
Three: CES can provide a significant role by gathering and sharing information and steps of action. It might set up an online and email communication system for keeping us up-to-date on events and how to take timely actions. Having links to other organizations on the CES site would be very helpful for informing us of legitimate sites to consider for adding our voices to petitions, giving donations, etc.
Four: Maybe CES needs a short statement of “Our Urgent Purpose in These Times” to help refocus our intent and the urgency of participation. I’d like to see a brief version on my refrigerator every day and be reminded there is a “we” who care deeply about Earth.
Five: We will need inspiration as we go forward. It may be very difficult for many of us to stay positive. We need to keep a strong web of intent by frequent encouraging reminders such as photos, artwork, poetry, quotes and such.
So this is where I am this day as a member of CES, a member of humanity, and a child of Earth. I feel I only know a few things, likely true despite the current administration. I know all will evolve: me, CES, our country, our planet. I know there will be ambiguity. I know some significant advances may seem very small at the time. One thing I’m most sure of at this moment of writing is that to contribute and/or read these reflections is a step in the right direction. It marks a unified transition. Thanks to everyone at CES.