“We were too busy being busy, tethered to technology and distracted by greed. We forgot what really mattered.”
I am writing to ask for forgiveness and understanding. More accurately, I want to explain how our relationship with Earth went terribly, terribly wrong during my lifetime. At the 2015 Paris Climate Talks, the differences between Earth’s needs and human desires appeared irreconcilable. It became clear that we were heading for a split.
It wasn’t inevitable.
In the beginning, like lovers, we understood Earth as our everything. She offered herself, and we honored what was given. With reverence, we celebrated her life-giving presence and expressed our deep appreciation. Cherishing Earth strengthened our interdependence and wisdom. Creation stories told of her abundance, and acknowledged the discovery of our power to serve or destroy. These beliefs inspired balanced and healthy interactions.
All essential relationships share vital qualities: communication, conflict resolution, shared interests, honesty, trust, commitment, laughter, attraction and intimacy. We found ourselves within Earth’s nature, and it was good.
But, like a long-married couple, we stopped seeing ourselves as participants in a divine union. We began taking Earth for granted, and callously took her for all she had, exploiting her for personal gain, even poisoning her, while consistently denying the abuse. We blamed others. We even blamed Earth. We said no to the things we could change.
We lived as if we didn’t need her. In our vanity, we thought we were so smart we could find a new relationship with some other planet in the galaxy. We didn’t. Our disconnection grew. We separated from Earth.
The radical humility required to restore the relationship never surfaced. We were too busy being busy, tethered to technology and distracted by greed. We forgot what really mattered.
Close to the end, in a panic, we tried to salvage the love Earth so freely offered. It was too late. The destruction of the relationship is ours to own. We have to live with it. And you, I’m devastated to say, will quite possibly die of it.