Dear Partners in Green,
I recently came across an article in the Huffington Post* on Climate Change and our sense of entitlement. It is suggested that we are living in an Age of Entitlement, and that will be our downfall.
Entitlement is the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment. Aren’t we entitled to our lifestyle, to those frequent flights, that closet of more clothes than we would ever need, that long shower, that steady diet of prime rib, that over-processed, over-watered pristine lawn, that gas-guzzling car?
Did we somehow earn the right to destroy our planet? Are we not aware of the ramifications of our choices? Are our lives unobserved by us? Unfortunately, they are observed by our children and grandchildren.
Our “savior” could be science and innovation, but even then sacrifice on our part will be required. For survival, our lives will have to change. Are we up to it?
Can we as a society, and as individuals, wake up? Can we live observed lives and sacrifice for the sake of the next generation, and the ones after that?
Can we raise children to not have a sense of entitlement, to not put themselves before all others? “Yes, dear one, you are special, but so is everyone else, and not just people, but our Earth and of its inhabitants. And it is up to us to live responsibly that all might live.”
Ours should have been a Declaration of Inter-Dependence.
I’m sorry for this rant; well, maybe I’m not.
This month, work on being mindful. Pay attention to environmental choices you make and reflect on whether the concept of entitlement has been a factor in your decisions. And if you have children, note if they seem to have a sense of entitlement and if so, find resources to help you to address and curb these tendencies. It will be good for them, for you, and for the planet.
A poem I wrote following a camping trip to Cape Cod:
Camping in the South Wellfleet
It is a site for purification,
a temple of stillness and pine
with secrets eager to be revealed
to all who come.
Our days are framed by the celebration
of the sun rising,
and the more subdued ceremony
accompanying its setting,
while the chanting from the pond
and the beckoning paths to the bay
assure us that we are welcome to appreciate
all the hours in between.
But a turtle’s snapping jaw
and a flash of red tail remind us
that we are visitors in this place
and we may stay only if we behave.
Knowing we were once thrown
out of Eden they keep a wary eye.
How to earn our way back
is the question I would ask,
but I already know the answer.
A song from Paul McCartney:
Thank you for being on this journey.
Wishing peace, health, courage, determination and resolve to you and your loved ones.
Till next time,