February 2015
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The sad legacy we are leaving

By Galen Larson

In the Good Book there is a verse called Acts 17:26. “And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation.”

It seems to me this man-made interpretation left out an important word: to dwell in harmony.

Does one suppose this word was left out on purpose to see if this animal with a brain could manage to do that without instructions? If so, we apparently are not capable of it. We continue to wage wars prompted by misinterpreting the storied sayings of self-proclaimed prophets through visions, dreams, hallucinations, or revelations. A story told often enough to the ignorant becomes a belief and/or fact. For years because of how I have chosen to live my life, I had wondered if there was a category I fit in (not that I was greatly troubled not to have a definition). Recently I stumbled onto my category or place in the universe, or whatever (the new saying of our youth in answer to an unanswerable question).

I have with pride learned that I belong in the category of a deist, as explained in the dictionary: a believer in science and the environment rather than religious authority.

Deists believe that no God intervenes in the functioning of the natural world. Instead, it follows the laws of nature and physics.

That means that no one is going to rescue us from the damage we are doing to the earth. If we continue to walk the thin rope over the chasm, a wrong step can result in irremediable damage to this small sphere of mud.

It is ironic that we have no compunction about controlling the population of all other animals, by sport or breeding. We recognize that, whether in pasture or nature, their habitat can only support so many without starvation and disease, nature’s brutal way of culling the species.

But wars, disease, and famine have not relieved the pressure placed on this planet by the human footprint. Science is telling us we have a problem, but we continue to ignore the warnings. We keep referring to the monetary debt we will leave our children, but that will be an infinitesimal burden in comparison to the environmental debt we will leave them in the form of lack of space, water, and food; rampant global warming; and loss of the rich diversity of life we were given in the beginning. This problem of population growth will bring about a carnage like never before.

Ah, but we won’t be here! That is true, but knowing beforehand that things don’t have to be this way for our descendants yet ignoring this is inexcusable to a thinking mind. Even the knuckle-draggers did better by us. At least they didn’t ravage the life-giving environment as we have.

To continue the competitive quest for mammon does not go with the spirit. We have been told by the prophets that profit from our endeavor is not the will of the skymaster. Yet we continue exploiting labor provided by the masses. History gives no mention of payment to those who built the pyramids, but it does mention lashes for lacking performance. So if we humanoids continue to ruin the earth through our greed, we should expect to be punished in some way, whether by God or nature.

It would be far better to change our ways. We can still hold to our belief in the hereafter and lying down in green pastures. But we should endeavor to live with love, kindness and a knowledgeable hand, giving care to the paradise given to us. Life is not hard to live when you give.

Riddle for the month: I don’t think I am better than anyone else. But I don’t know anyone better.

Galen Larson writes from Montezuma County, Colo.


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