Learning new things – okay, life in general – was so much easier for me in adolescence – from the theatrically musical inspirations of Peter Pan to the eloquent, rhymed sentiments of 2Pac Shakur (and in a great 2Pac throwback by Travie McCoy), we see this call back to the days of our bright-eyed, inquisitive selves. But youth isn’t exactly what I miss (no thank you curfews). It’s the seeming straightforwardness with which I was educated; the creative spirit that was encouraged in a grade-school microcosm meant to progressively teach the skills we’d need upon traversing into young adulthood.
Unfortunately, general education doesn’t always prepare you to deal with deceptive leaders who value profit over their communities harmed by negligent corporate practices. Here’s looking at you, Chevron: with 2 billion in profits per year, there is no excuse to put off 100% modernization of your refinery and invest in renewable energy (which will hopefully keep lawyers from filing all these claims cases, right?). And we all know Chevron isn’t the only one getting away with murder.
So I’m here to say that those getting away with things (and please know that I’m no angel – but really, who is? well, maybe this guy) have a responsibility to encourage healthy life in our environments, which begins with looking inward. Our bodies are environments in themselves. They need many of the things that the earth provides. And we may find our way to mars – but why go there and do exactly what we’re doing here? We should work on learning to live with what we have, not what we think we want or need.
Everyone breathes the same thing, is composed of 60-some percent water, and seeks out pleasure over pain. But I can’t help imagining how much pain my generation’s descendants will experience if fracking and carbon emissions aren’t presently considered as true long-term threats to the environment.
How much emotional pain will they experience when they realize that we somehow forgot they would need drinking water, that far too many ignored this slow threat that we could have planned much, much better for? We are the descendants of others and deal with many of their lingering triumphs and mistakes, so let’s try and minimize what terrors we leave for our progeny.
Whether or not you believe in global warming, climate change IS occurring – the droughts and fires in my native CA are definite proof of a shrinking source of water. And whether or not you’ve been impacted by fracking, there are plenty of complaints and displacements on record showing the hazard it poses to communities’ drinking water alone. So we need to look at what really matters. Technological advancement should not happen at the expense of the planet, nay, universe which borne humankind into existence.
We must coexist, and this coexistence will be difficult if we can’t see that, on the inside, we’re all the same. My blood is your blood, and yours is mine. Perhaps we do not look the same, but what we learned in grade school prevails whether or not we’d like to acknowledge it. Golden rules shouldn’t only apply to a few, for we are all worthy. For we are many, and we are all one body – corporation, even – of humanity.