We’ve got to feel itPublished 10:16am Friday, December 7, 2012
Years ago that the executive director of Pacolet Area Conservancy at the time, Mike Oliphant, told me we would be wasting our time in the conservation field until we changed our way of thinking. That comment was the impetus for my writing this column, hoping that people could change their way of thinking if given enough information. But how true is this? Progress as we know it is directly counter to conservation, and we choose progress every time. We feel anxious, yet we do what our minds tell us to do…and the anxiety persists.
Our intellect is used to rationalize and expedite what we think we must have, which in most cases is to be comfortable. That translates to big houses, more money or power. Facts can be lined up in any manner we need them to be in order to get what we want, with the kindness of our forgetfulness to help it all work out.
It brings me back to the image to Fiona standing in the stall, feeling the warmth of Ruby’s presence when Ruby was not there. Fiona could not rationalize as to why Ruby was not there, nor could she plan when Ruby would come back. She could only accept reality, and seek comfort within that reality. She knows the sun brings light, and night brings darkness. There is no judgment as to which is better; they are simply different. Could we live happily without electricity, as had been for thousands of years before Thomas Edison’s intellect brought us the light bulb, and with it coal fired power plants and climate change? Could we make decisions on what our hearts tell us, using our minds to serve our heart’s mission only? Could we be happy living with the world that God created rather than spend our lives trying to change it to serve our shortsighted, selfish purposes?
Maybe what Mike Oliphant should have said is that we will never make positive changes to the environment until we learn to feel, and listen, and begin to accept reality graciously.