I want to preach today about the earth and ecocide, about the willful laying waste of our natural habitat.
With hurricanes Harvey and Irma captivating our present, the time couldn’t feel more ripe. The earth is rising up in rebellion against a load it can no longer handle: we have littered our oceans with plastic and sewage, so much so that 83% of drinking water samples worldwide have shown up with tiny plastic microfibers in them.
We’re literally drinking in plastic.
The latest research found the same levels of plastic contamination in tap water from the high towers of Manhattan to New Delhi and Uganda. Microplastics are everywhere, equally, sparing no one and no place; and these microplastics are absorbing toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer when they’re consumed by fish and humans. And the humans that eat the fish. The fibers may be small but the toll is catastrophic. Microplastics never break down, so we have created an irreversible problem. Our only chance is to stop now.
We are also poisoning our life force, the soil, the place from which our food comes. Pesticides, herbicides, detergents, and other chemicals are dramatically altering not only the state of our soil and our food, but the state of our health. So much of the toxicity that has already seeped in the ground is, at this point, irrevocable. We are making our planet unfit for life.
We have torn giant holes in the protective ozone layer of the atmosphere, the layer that guards us from the frizzling ultraviolet rays of the sun. Without this layer, we will surely not survive.
We are fueling environmental havoc + weather disasters at every turn with almost every consumer habit we have developed. And we are annihilating our companion creatures at alarming levels, underlining our dinner plates with violence and tragedy: 9 billion chickens a year in the U.S. alone are slaughtered in ways that do not honor them or us. We’ve forgotten that life is sacred and, therefore, the animal life we take and take in must be honored, too.
I do not seek to offer the solutions; there are scientists far more equipped and intelligent in their fields who have the research and the understanding and the answers. I seek only to ignite the awareness.
The truth is: I think we all feel it. We so frantically go about our lives without pause or silence or deep breaths that we’ve numbed out the dismal state of our earth—but it is there. When we finally do stop and listen, it rises up within us, rearing its head. And it is uncomfortable.
I think we all sense the unease. The dis-ease. The destruction and unparalleled disconnection: between our spirits and our bodies. Between ourselves and our neighbors. Between us and our earth. Between ourselves and the companion creatures that roam our planet along with us.
We have divided ourselves as a species along as many axes as we can and we are even divided within ourselves. We are so disconnected it is no surprise we treat the earth like it doesn’t belong, like its survival is not integral to ours.
It’s no wonder we’ve forgotten the majesty and magic and beauty and abundance of the earth, because we’ve forgotten our own. We’ve forgotten that one exists only on the back of the other.
We’ve lost control of our own wellness. Chronic disease is rampant. More than 100 million Americans have Diabetes or are on their way there. This year alone, over 1.5 million people will be diagnosed with cancer for the first time. And this is not to include the people living with chronic stress, fatigue, depression, indigestion, anxiety, and pain. We cannot take life for granted, yet we do, over and over and over again, as we drown in information and things and starve for true wisdom.
We must see the connection. We must connect.
And this is why I’m hopeful: because we are hard-wired for connection—to ourselves, our bodies, each other, the earth. Connection is our truest survival tool. And we can choose to connect.
Not only that: as we deluge ourselves with contradictory information and struggle to find the truth amidst the chaos, we have one secret weapon: the wisdom is within. It has been and will always be.
We have the answers inside of us if only we allow them to rise up within us and be our fuel. If only we allow them to spark us back to wakefulness and action. We have the power. Massive power.
There is a Hopi belief: “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”
Yes. Our future is in our hands.