David KriegerI keep thinking that Earth Day should be about something far more profound than recycling.  Not that recycling isn’t good.  It’s just not good enough.  We humans are destroying our earth: using up its topsoil, devouring its precious resources, polluting its air and water, altering its climate.  And we are bombing and shelling the earth and each other with our wasteful and destructive military technologies.  In short, we are behaving extremely badly and fouling our own nest.  And we are doing this not only to ourselves, but to future generations.

Earth Day should be a spiritual day, a day of appreciation and thanksgiving for the earth’s abundance and beauty.  We should stand in awe of the miracle of the earth and its myriad forms of life, including ourselves.  We should kneel before the majesty and uniqueness of our planet.  We should be humbled by the gift of this water planet and treat it with the care and love it deserves, not only on Earth Day, but every day.

How did we become destroyers of our planetary home, rather than its guardians?  How did we become the spoilers of the future, rather than its trustees?  We did it in part with our arbitrary lines that we call borders.  We did it with our greed and selfishness, and with our lack of wonder and our lost hope.  We did it by our unquenchable thirst for more and more, and by losing sight of fairness and decency.  We did it by taking and not giving back.  What is destroying the earth?  It is us, and only us, collectively.

We seem to care more for material things than we do for each other.  We associate richness with an abundance of things, and poverty with a scarcity of things.  We are losing the arts of contemplation, communication, and care.  We are failing in courage, compassion and commitment.  Earth Day could be a beginning point in time for becoming who we could be: vibrant and creative citizens of earth, living in joy and harmony with the earth and each other.  What can save the earth?  It is us, and only us, collectively.

We live in the Nuclear Age, and nuclear weapons are the ultimate symbol of our lost connection to the earth, ourselves and each other.  We have reached the point in our evolution, or devolution, at which we are willing to destroy the planet to provide ourselves with the illusion of security.  Why don’t we commit this Earth Day to ending the nuclear weapons threat to humanity and all life?  Why don’t we bring the Nuclear Age to an end and begin a new age of dignity, decency, responsibility and respect for life?

*To read the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth, click here.

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