Thursday, July 16, 2009

Do you care about the earth?

At the dinner table the father asks his children, “Who cares about the earth?” The son and the daughter announce in unison, “I do!” The father says, “What are you doing about it?” They quickly respond, “Recycling.”

The father inquires, “Do you care about the earth the way you care about other things?” At which point they begin to discuss the things they care about, the family, Blackberry the family dog, and they discovered the list was relatively short.

He persists with questions like the following, “Do you really care about the earth?”, “What is the earth?”, “Is it the magma you love?”, and finally he proposes, “I believe people say they care about the earth but really they don’t.”

The following morning as they leave for their respective daytime destinations, the father asks again, “Do you care about the earth?”
They answer in unison, “No.” As they enter their car and take their respective seats the son pauses and suggests the following from the rear, “It’s really about being grateful. If you’re grateful, then you will do something. The earth can’t care about you so how can you care about the earth. It’s not the same.”

“That's brilliant”, the father says as he reflects on how grateful he is to have children. He also realizes that he didn’t take time to acknowledge his daughter for being who she is and the father makes a point of rectifying this later the same day.

(The father makes a mental note about how the earth may in fact 'care about us'.)

2 comments:

wayfairer said...

ok. I remember reading this a while ago. I was interested in talking more about it. Later you got engaged in doing some creative work with inner-city kids. What is happening with this thinking/initiative. Can we talk about it?

wayfairer said...

we're not talking about the earth right? we're talking about humanity at least and probably about the biosphere primarily. We think humans are important - animals too. We care about our children and succeeding generations and many of us are concerned that we are destroying the future prospects of the current state of things. Some people think we can fix it with technology but it can't be done that way.