I wrote this a couple of weeks ago upon learning from a United Nations report that the expected methane release from global warming could push us pass the tipping point in climate change where there is no way to extract ourselves or our planet from the misery and destruction that will come about as the result of our neglect and inability to understand the needs of the planet Earth. Writing this was somewhat cathartic, and gave me new resolve to work on doing whatever we can to undo the total mess we have created. I hope you feel the same.
Broken. Shattered like crystal dropped on a terracotta tile floor. My spirits are crushed with each message that we are killing our planet. And I feel alone. My heart feels vacant. An empty set of chambers through which blood only flows because it must.
Within the corners of my fractured heart I see that there are others who see the reality of what the human species has done. Each one of us feels marooned on an island of gluttony. The most horrific parts of this island is reserved for the very rich, the powerful, those that have what the rest of us do not. Most of us have supported their greed unknowingly. They told us we could all be like them. They told us we could be wealthy. They told us it was patriotic to consume. They told us that blind consumerism and unadulterated faith in “free enterprize” was good for the world.
They, those that hold the rigged deck of cards, lied. Plain and simple. They lied to get another dollar. They lied so that they could hide money in off shore banks. They lied so that they could have more while most of us, ultimately, had less. They had a party and we were all invited. We didn’t realize we were the help.
Those who were allowed to celebrate at the party, the bankers, the oil executives, the Wall Street money pimps, the whorish politicians, and worse, those that profit from the killing of women and children because they stand in the way of money, have had their fun. They have sipped their martinis brought on silver trays by the rest of us. They have smoked their big fat Cuban cigars served to them by the help. They have eaten their caviar and shown off their diamond necklaces without any acknowledgement that those who serve them are even in their midst. We are the people that gave them their pleasures and their wealth. Did we realize that we were giving them our flesh and blood?
Our invitation to this party must have been clever. “Come and join the fun! You can be just like us! You can have a big car, and a giant house! You can live large! Just like us! Won’t you please come to our party and learn how we became so rich?” And we did. Our servitude was unexpected by us and planned by them.
Many who drank the “Koolaid” worked their fingers to the bone for these riches that never would be. We did it for our families. We did it for their children. We did it so that future generations would never have to work this hard again. Many borrowed money for big homes and spent money heating and cooling them. Many borrowed money for monstrous SUV’s and they fed them gasoline. They drove to the mall in gas guzzling cars and bought jeweled necklaces. Some flew in giant airplanes to exotic places where they tried to look happy. Quite a few bought insurance and took their savings and entrusted it to men on Wall Street. We tried to be just like their masters. The men and women who are allowed to celebrate at the party.
But we were not like those who led us astray. The McMansion homes spewed carbon from 300 million years ago into the atmosphere. The SUV’s smothered the earth with blankets of gases. Many drove in circles, to the mall, to a soccer game, and to Grandma’s house, only to find they had not gone anywhere. A few took vacations to the Caribbean, to Thailand, and to South America only to find it brought a shallow smile to their faces. The smiles did not last. While chasing false dreams in foreign lands they had to witness abject poverty and the destititute conditions that much of the rest of the world lives in. And the money that was spent on insurance and on Wall Street investments? It might come in handy some day. Then again it might not. The Wizard of Oz, the man behind the curtain, had been exposed in the Wall Street and banking crisis of 2008.
And while many drove around in big cars and hid behind tinted glass they failed to notice that our earth was changing. Summers went from warm to scorched. Rivers went from wet to dry. And then when we least expected it the rivers over ran their banks and destroyed what they held precious; our homes, our jobs, and our families. And there were storms! Storms in places where havoc had not been witnessed before. Storms of historic proportions.
And when we buy our food each week, food that travels thousands of miles before it sits on our tables before it feeds our loved ones, we wonder why it cost so much more than last month, or last week, or yesterday. We blame it on those that grow the food. We blame it on the weather. And, legitimately, we blame it on agribusiness. But we forget to blame it on ourselves. We fail to recognize that we are complicit. The big houses. The bus sized SUV’s. All of the senseless driving that is done in search of happiness and never finding it. We are afraid to admit that we are the fuel that feeds the fire. A fire that will torch this planet. Not a burning Phoenix that rises into the sky, but a ground scorching fire that chars, scars, and leaves grim residue of our greed in its wake.
And yes, we were duped. Those bankers, those oil executives, those men and women on Wall Street and in those big insurance companies. They drink their Martinis. The smoke their big fat Cuban cigars. They eat their caviar and show off their diamonds. And, in truth, it is the rest of us who pay for their pleasures.
And those who were invited to the party to help. Many continue to serve the fat cats while on the horizon storms are brewing. Storms so large and so dark that they are afraid. Most are so fearful, in fact, that they pretend the storms are not there.
Broken. Shattered like crystal dropped on a terracotta tile floor. My spirit is empty. I was invited to the party. I went and stayed for a while. I noticed that I was different and I left.
But still I am complicit in these crimes. I did not speak loud enough. I watched and listened but I did not actively oppose the gluttony. I felt like it was none of my business when in fact, relative to me and my family, it was ONLY my business.
And although I tried to live my life differently I was silent. Silence can be as untruthful as the most outrageous lie.
I am alone.
My heart is vacant.
And I am responsible.
Written for www.wildramblings.com in February 2012