I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the whole “Green” movement. The color green has always been my favorite color but lately the word itself has been leaving a bad taste in my mouth.
I look around and I see people getting excited over recycling, driving less, starting their own garden, taking shorter showers, setting up solar power, reusing old items, and changing their light bulbs. While each holds its’ own value (and in no way am I saying we shouldn’t do these things) there is no way on God’s “green” Earth it’s going to save the planet. It’s not going to save the extinction of the salamanders, the mountain lions, the polar bears or the salmon. It’s not going to save the mountaintops from being removed or the polar ice caps from melting. It’s not going to eliminate the dioxin from mother’s breast milk or the mercury from our Great Lakes. It’s not enough, yet this is right where most of us stop. Most of us put our cardboard and our plastics out on the curb on recycling day, spend a few minutes patching up the knee on a pair of ripped jeans and call it good. We feel good about what we just did, so we stop there. Everything is okay now that we set out our recycling so let’s go back to sleep. We’ve done our part to help save the planet. But have we?
No. Not really, in fact, not even close.
The problem with “feel good” actions like these is that they tend to put everyone back to sleep. We change a light bulb, feel good about ourselves and that’s it. We start snoring again. But it’s not enough. If we are ever going to move to something that is truly sustainable then industrial production and pollution needs to end, completely. If we are ever going to stop the endangerment of species then over consumption needs to stop, completely. If we want our oceans to remain clear and life giving then toxic dumping needs to be terminated, forever. If we want to continue to be able to grow food then we need to build up our soil not kill it. No amount of recycling, light bulbs or short showers will do this. We need to stop sleeping and wake up!
The whole “green” movement is generally not much more than a big sleeping pill. Its’ very nature has transformed into something we can easily fit into our lives and still maintain the status quo. We don’t have to give anything up. We can continue on with our lives as they are AND feel good about ourselves because we just recycled the box our WII came in. We stay asleep to the actual truth. Eyes closed instead of eyes open. It’s very similar to what religion has become. Just like the ‘green’ movement, religion has become a way for us to stay asleep, safe and away from the truth. We can go to church and feel good about ourselves because we just sat in a place with God. God will be happy with us now because we prayed to Him. We don’t have to give anything up. We can leave church and head out into the world the same person we were before. Nothing lost, good feelings gained. Except, why do we always assume (or hope) that the truth is something that will make us initially feel good? Perhaps she, who says, “the truth hurts”, is actually speaking the truth and knew what she was talking about? Waking up isn’t easy, whether you are looking at cultural awakening or spiritual awakening. It takes work. It takes honesty. It takes courage. We need to wake up. If we don’t, we’ll soon find ourselves without a planet to sleep on.
So yes, take shorter showers. Then use the time you saved not showering to make a positive change for your planet. Take the next step. Take a step beyond household improvements. Take a step that is bigger than your self. Take a step for all life on this planet. You’ll realize that you never knew what it really meant to “feel good”. You’ll realize that feeling good comes when we make a real difference.