“If some great catastrophe is not announced every morning, we feel a certain void. Nothing in the paper today, we sigh,” by Lord Acton.
Why do so many thrive on the negative? Decades ago a scientist warned of the catastrophe waiting to happen in New Orleans if a hurricane hit head on. And yet nothing was done to fix the levee system. Decades ago scientists warned of the catastrophic issues of climate change. And yet little has been done to correct this issue. Decades ago we were warned about the catastrophic effects of pesticides in our world. And yet little was done — in fact more toxic chemicals have been invented and released into our global ecosystem.
We as a species seem to love to read about catastrophes — but don’t seem too interested in doing anything about them. Maybe when NYC and Miami and Boston are submerged under glacial meltwater — we’ll believe that climate change is real. Maybe when some celebrities and politicians are diagnosed with MCS — we’ll realize that releasing tons of toxic chemicals into our environment is a really stupid idea.
I read an article about the invasive species issue in the US and the billions of dollars it is costing this country. As always there is an argument of what to do about it. One piece of the puzzle was to get people to eat the edible invasive species. Makes sense right?! Well apparently although Asian carp is a delicacy in Asia (where it is actually threatened in some areas) — Americans aren’t that into it. And some invasive blackberry is delicious but to hard to hand-pick. My favorite is the lionfish. It has venomous spines but apparently a butter yummy taste. Chefs started using this invasive species and it has become popular enough that it is getting difficult to keep on the menu. The whole point of serving it in the first place was to find a cost-effective ecofriendly way to reduce its negative impact on the environment. The article reads on about how a fundraiser serving the lionfish had to be cancelled because not enough could be caught. This should be cause for celebration. But even when we have accomplished our goal — we humans seem to find the negative in the situation.
The next time you find yourself drawn to watch a report on the latest pandemic or deadly tornado touchdown or destruction of the coral reefs — ask why am I watching this? There is always love or fear involved in everything we do. Are you drawing your personal power from the death and destruction of others’ misfortunes? Or are you drawing your personal power from forgiveness for those who have erred in their decisions? And love — to immediately take some action to lessen someone else’s pain and ultimately your own as well?
Are you the one watching mesmerized as someone’s house burns to the ground? Or are you the one starting a clothing drive for the family?
Are you the one complaining about the cost of food and how many people are going hungry? Or are you the one planting a community garden?
Are you the one who has insurance, a great income, a nice home and food but who complains how horrible your life is? Or are you the one who is disabled, little or no income, poisoned by other people’s toxic chemicals but putting your minimal energy into love today?
I hope you enjoy the TED talk I have included. I found it very thought- and action-provoking.