Friday, September 23, 2011


How do I live with the awareness that what I do, how I live, the choices I make have an effect on the rest of the world? This is the question which keeps rising to the surface day after day since my return from East Africa.

Science has shown, continues to show us, that all of life is interconnected; that weather patterns throughout the world,for example, depend upon, are affected by, the destruction of Brazilian rain forests, by the deforestation of huge swaths of Africa, by the degradation of soil in many parts of the world including the United States, by the altered amount of carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere caused by ever-increasing use of fossil fuels in the U.S., Europe, Japan, China. The chain of life which begins at the cellular level is a connection linking every bit of life on this planet with every other bit of life, and every step I take makes an impact- for good or for ill- upon this Earth I call home.

Now that I have seen- been privileged or cursed to see, I don't know which- the reality of life in other places, among other people, I find myself deeply uncomfortable inside this life, at this time, in this place. As I look around me at my home, my neighborhood, my city, my country, I am astounded by the way of life we take so much for granted, this "American way of life" which seems to shout, "As long as I have what I need, what I want, everything is okay. Life is good.", even as across the street or across town or across the world children are going to bed hungry, if indeed they have a bed, babies are dying of water-borne diseases, and thousands upon thosands upon thousands are homeless- and without hope.

And how, I wonder, can we call ourselves CHRISTIAN (those of us who do) when we continue to insist upon having things all our own way, continuing our lifestyles of over-consumption and out-of-control evergy use when our "neighbor"- what Jesus called him and her, remember?- sits hungry in the darkness on a dirt floor?

FACT: Every time I drive my car unnecessarily I am adding to the atmospheric pollution and consuming of fossil fuel. FACT: Every time I put a full garbage can at the curb, I am adding to soil pollution caused by the landfill. FACT: Every time I leave lights burning unnecessarily or fail to unplug my computer or run a partial load of laundry, I am wasting precious, never-to-be-recovered resources.

So how, then, shall I live? Mindfully...with an awareness of my personal responsibiity for the on-going well-being of this planet...with an awareness of my personal responsibility for the impact my way of living has upon my sisters and brothers throughout the world...with gratitude and humility for the accident of birth which placed me in America in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries...with thankfulness for every day of life in which I have enough to eat & drink & have a roof over my head & a safe, comfortable place to sleep and awareness that I am among the world's rich...with a deepening sense of responsibiity to awaken you, my friends, to an understanding and appreciation of the vital importance of a shared commitment to the holy connectedness of all of life.

Here is my hand...will you take it and walk the difficult but life-giving road of connectedness with me?

special affects
Experiments with subatomic particles
that anything connected at one time
that connection forever!
that anything affecting one tiny particle
another, regardless of how far
they are in time or space!

And so, this means- theoretically, of course-
affects one particle in our universe
every other one!
Is your mouth agape with wonder?
Well, why not?

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