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chasing answers newsletter #71
No respect, An excellent rebuttal
“I don’t get no respect, no respect at all!” - Rodney Dangerfield
Last week, a report was released that stated that the Earth is beyond six of nine defined planetary boundaries. What that means is that we have breached the level considered a safe operating space for humanity.
How we got here is a long story and one not without controversy. Climate change, like everything else, has become politicized to an almost laughable degree. So much so that we can’t agree on what science is telling us. Or, for that matter, what science even is.
As someone who believes climate change is real and that there are things we can do to fix it, I often wonder if arguing about the science of it all is where we go wrong.
There may be a simpler, much more rudimentary problem we need to discuss.
Remember when you were a kid, and your parents taught you to respect your stuff and that of others? Like when they taught you not to cut the heads off all your He-Man action figures because you thought that made Skeletor’s death more realistic. Or when they made you clean your room instead of letting clothes build up on the floor so thick that you could walk anywhere in the room without touching the carpet.
Let’s get back to the basics.
We treat our planet the same way the 200 people who used to show up at my house in college for keg parties treated that house.
As if we’re just passing through for a night of fun, and someone else will worry about the disaster left behind in the morning. No respect for the house or the poor fuckers who have to deal with the aftermath.
We are cutting down all the trees without a second thought about whether or not the next generation may want to see them.
We are filling the oceans with plastic. So much so that someday, if there aren’t already, there will be parts, like my bedroom above, where you will be able to glide across the plastic without touching the water.
But someone will have to clean up that mess.
What if, and I’m just spitballing here, we treated our planet with the same respect we show our homes? What if we maintained it, cleaned it, and were careful about what we brought into it? What if we thought about how our actions may impact others with whom we share the planet. Or what if we thought about those who will be there in the morning, cleaning up the mess from the night before?
Our kids and grandkids.
What if we had a little respect for them?
An Excellent Rebuttal
Last week, I wrote about my struggle with being a creator (I’m using that term REALLY loosely) and some of the things that come along with it, like sharing details of my life and being active on social media.
One of my readers, who is also a fellow writer, had an excellent rebuttal to my essay. And when I say rebuttal, what I mean is he looked at the other side of the coin in the most insightful and thoughtful way possible and then took the time to share his thoughts with me.
I’m sharing the comment he left on my newsletter because if a part of you agreed with everything I said last week, you should hear the other side as well.
I have always felt the very same way as you do Randy. The guy with no camera is also my idea of a real hero, and I'm glad you shared his story. None-the-less, motivated by the desire to share something of value and benefit to a wider audience, I've made a concerted effort to get over my extreme reticence to share my thoughts, creativity, and work life more publicly online. I took that step also with the fear that I wouldn't like myself for joining the hordes of online attention seekers.
Personally, I've been very pleasantly surprised that the intelligence of the universe seems to pervade all realms, even the internet! The mysterious "powers that be" have seen to it, that despite my efforts, I remain invisible and unknown to more than 8 billion people on planet earth. And of those who do catch a glimpse of me in the digital world, perhaps .0001% of them take notice. Even fewer care to engage. By some magical selection process, I continue to stumble upon rare gems of the human species, and have my own preciousness reflected back to me in mutual regard.
I can honestly say I am deeply grateful to have met and learned something of the lives of this small percentage of our planet's population, you among them, and many others who are writers. And I take nourishment and joy from hearing their stories.
I've been a lone wolf my whole life, keeping to myself, not asking for help, and not being particularly generous with offering it either. This online game has given me a chance to feel like I actually belong to the human community, that I can count myself as a part of a whole, rather than an isolated misfit who just doesn't deserve a place around the campfire sharing stories.
Who knows, I might change my opinion or my mind at some point, but for now, I am absolutely delighted with the discovery I'm making. That sharing myself quite freely does not disturb the sanctuary of my inner life. In fact, just the opposite. As I reach out, something even bigger grows inside. And that something is being given lawful protection in the process.
It is as though I am a tree by nature that has been afraid that by putting out leaves I would endanger my roots. But sending out visible branches only drives the roots deeper, making them more stable, more private, more unknowable. The more I share, the greater the reservoir of all that can never be told about me becomes.
Still, I resonate with and respect your point of view on this. I think there is a place for the men with no camera, people with no diary, no social media account, and not an ounce of compulsion to record, review or inventory the passing of their lives. Just living and sharing the example of their enoughness as they go. We need such people.
For now, I've set that form of identity aside. I'm personally running an experiment to learn the difference between idiot exposure and authentic human sharing. So far, I have been unable to learn that difference by withholding.
Thank you to, who writes , for this comment. If you aren’t already subscribed to his newsletter, you should be.
Photo(s) of the Week
On our last vacation, we spent an evening walking around this island in the middle of the lake. There was nothing on it. No signs a human had ever been there (although they have.) My daughter didn’t want to leave; she enjoyed every minute, simply exploring and climbing the rocks.
My hope is that places like this will continue to exist so my grandkids can do the same.
I hope you all have a great week!
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