Saturday, April 3, 2010

Meaning? What's that?

When I was little, I would lie awake in bed and try to imagine the number of people on the earth, or the number of stars in the sky. Both seemed infinite and boggled my too-young mind. I would become depressed about the people - too many of them. How would I be anything but a number? How would I ever mean anything? How would our beautiful home sustain it all? At 11 years of age I was suffering from an existential lack of meaning. My body felt what my mind couldn't comprehend.

In my own way I foresaw the collapse. I felt deeply that things weren't right; that something was seriously wrong. I seemed to be the only one with any concern, so of course I determined that there was something seriously wrong with me. That was my first mistake. Don't let it be yours.

I turned away from this world and I wonder if I'm ready yet to turn back to it. Those people who used to keep me up at night? Well, they've swelled. They've swelled and they've produced and they've consumed. Even though mentally and emotionally and in my soul I turned away; still, physically, I did my part. I am complicit. All of us are guilty. Therefore, all of us are innocent.

I sought solace in anything that would provide momentary relief. My relief was overt, rebellious, in-your-face. Does that mean that your way is any less effective? I don't think so.


Rick Hamrick said...

For me, the question is more, am I doing my best? If I can honestly answer in the affirmative, I don't worry about guilt or innocence. You can only do what you can do.

I recognize the much-larger issues you are raising, yet when I decide that action is required on my part, I know the impact of it will be within my own little sphere of influence.

And, as great thinkers and activists have long said, the world can be turned on its head if each of us does what we can do as individuals. We can build a wave, one tiny drop at a time.

kikipotamus said...

I also was a lone voice at a very young age saying people were a plague on this beautiful planet and that one day she--like a dog noticing a bad case of fleas--would give her rump a violent scratching and off we would all fly. I understood the rationale behind such movements as ZPG and Voluntary Human Extinction Project. But I never thought I was the crazy one. I've always thought I was sane, just outnumbered in my unusual perspective. For all the other ways I have harmed the planet, at least I didn't reproduce.