I wanted to share an excerpt from a wonderful article I read this morning from the Mindfulness Bell publication (Winter/Spring 2016), entitled: The Treachery of Oblivion, by 15-year-old Jadzia Tedeschi:
“How could the people who have the power to change the world be so oblivious to fossil fuel depletion, world hunger, and ecosystem changes? But wait…here was the key! These people were oblivious, not treacherous.
…In reading the First Mindfulness Training (http://www.openway.org/content/mindfulness-trainings), the first things that might come to mind are vegetarianism and a blank criminal record. But all around me, I saw irreverence for life and our plentiful resources. I understood more clearly how crucial it is to love life in all its forms. A mosquito only bites to nourish itself and so deserves compassion, but what about those tampering with Mother Earth? Yes, they are worthy of respect and compassion. They haven’t encountered sufficient conditions to become sensitive to their circumstances. As “victims of oblivion,” they inflict harm on the world.
…Let’s not fight the victims of oblivion, because ramming into each other with sharpened horns will only bring chaos and destruction. Let’s let our collective energy be contagious and fly on the wings of laughter and affection.”
I’m entering a topic where when I searched online for images to accompany a post pertaining to it, I was accosted with pictures of the earth engulfed in violent flames, sad looking arctic animals stranded on frozen chunks of ice bobbing in the sea, and giant smoke stacks belching out plumes of exhaust. But amid all of the alarming and heart-wrenching images, I found this one, shown above, which I greatly prefer. I also think this image has the capacity to possibly motivate and support people, rather than just scare the crap out of them, which is a bonus.
I’ve purposefully avoided this topic, much like one would avoid the plague. Anything having to do with the word “activism” scares me. Right or wrong, and probably a bit of both, when I think of activism, centered around any topic, I immediately think of angry-ridden crowds, shouting and shaking their rock-fists in the air at some invisible collective entity that they’ve obsessively devoted their lives to hating passionately, and short-shortsightedly. This does not appeal to me in the slightest. Now, of course, there are those who would consider themselves an activist who are not filled with a boiling surge of rancor and enmity. I just happen to leave out this demographic of folks when conjuring up my idea of what an activist would look like. It’s similar to when I clean the house without wearing my glasses (I have very poor vision without them) – I do a half-ass job in addressing the art of cleanliness because I’m only taking the time to look at a fraction of the task at hand. In my defense, the house looks super clean after I’m finished, glasses-less of course.
When I think of the topic of global warming part of me shuts down. I start tuning out right away because I’m not interested in engaging in someone’s endless tirade about the accredited science, either for or against it, or how we should all be throwing ourselves in front of the freight trains hauling long trails of coal-filled containers through our mountain town of Missoula, Montana. And in all honesty, I’m not convinced there’s a whole lot that we can really do to stop the process of global warming. This is because that is, as a common Buddhist teaching puts it. Perhaps we’re simply not meant to continue on the way we’ve been and perhaps that means we can make a global shift in thinking and acting and perhaps it means the end of our particular way of life. Who knows?