I think most of us who remember the first Earth Day in 1970 would agree that hope and excitement for the future was our Number One takeaway from the day. So many of us thought we’d finally gotten the attention of multitudes of people and relayed the important message of the interconnectedness of all living things. What could be more important than keeping a living, breathing planet alive and well for what we though was forever. To quote Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson:
“The fate of the living planet is the most important issue facing mankind.”
Sadly, as we check in 42 years later, I think a lot of us would say that as we struggle to keep hope as our primary focus, today’s state of affairs as they pertain to our planet are far from where we thought we’d be back in 1970.
I could link to many articles – they abound on any news aggregator site: BP oil spills, Keystone Pipeline, nuclear disasters, fracking…and on and on. However, as the proprietor of the web site “Wisdom Voices,” I’m opting to share with you a wisdom voice I stumbled upon about a year ago.
Diarmuid O’Murchu is a social psychologist and a member of the Sacred Heart Missionary Order who has spent most of his working life in social ministry, predominantly in London. His book Catching Up with Jesus: A Gospel Story for Our Time presents a unique and entertaining way of looking at the interconnectedness of all living things. It’s a fascinating read. In it, he presents a Jesus of Nazareth who carries on a conversation directed at us in the 21st century. O’Murchu ends the book with wisdom and a future vision as articulated by this Jesus.
“Everything lives on in a creative universe like ours…And energy carries information, the cumulative wisdom of the ages…My friends as you emerge from the oppressive power that has entrapped you, you will discover once more what intuitively you knew so well for thousands of years. This is a wise universe; ours is a wise earth…So, why are you humans behaving in this strangely stubborn and unenlightened way…Look around you and contemplate the wonder of all that exists in creation. Everything works in cooperative fashion as it is designed to do; and within that cooperative endeavor is a great deal of freedom and choice.
“If you choose to destroy yourselves, I am not going to play the rescuing parent. You have got to grow up and become adults. There is no space for childish power games in my relational matrix…Get into your hearts and see with the eyes of deeper vision. That is what will give you hope and meaning. And thereby you’ll access the wisdom that will enable you to live differently…Keep your attention on learning to relate rightly: with the cosmos, with the earth, with all creatures inhabiting creation, and all will be well.
“It just annoys me that it is taking you so long to grow up and become cosmic, planetary adults. Meanwhile, I and my relational matrix will forgive you for being such pests – not to me, but to the earth and to your own kind! So come on folks, time is running short and Mother Earth is getting weary of all this adolescent belligerence. The hour is fast approaching when you will have to choose between life and extinction. The choice is yours.”