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I have mixed feelings : earth day

Today, on this, another Earth Day, I have mixed feelings. I feel that this is just another “hallmark holiday” so to speak - a way for businesses to make money, a day giving consumers another excuse (as if we needed one) to spend money and yet another reason for people to get pissy and judgmental toward each other.

But, just like with labels, I have a love-hate relationship going on. I think it’s good to draw attention to the Earth and her needs. It’s important as Christians to be reminded of our call to stewardship and to be held accountable when we are not being responsible, and if done properly, it can be something to draw distinctly different people together for a positive purpose.

I have enjoyed this time with my daughter. She is at an IB World school and her unit has been care of the Earth’s resources. I love the simple, uncluttered (pun intended) perspective of children when you talk to them about sustainability, creation care, ecology, habitat, etc. Her view as a 6 year old is what I wish Earth Day would be about. We are people, we can and should respect all life, all creation. As people we have the ability to fix our mistakes, to clean up what we have messed up, to care for what we have neglected and to restore what we have abused. It’s obvious to her that it’s not a big thing to sacrifice some of our own desires, time, stuff for the benefit of our fellow created beings.

She has been singing made up songs about how beautiful the earth is, how the wind blows and how we are cared for by the Earth. To her, it’s oh so very simple.

So, with reluctance and a bit of cynicism, I say, Happy Earth Day - celebrate it wisely - like a 6 year old.

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Tags: earthday


  1. sally — April 22, 2008 #

    I share you cynicism, but the exhortation to celebrate as a six year old is a good one, if we did life would surely be less complicated and even less costly!

  2. myste — April 22, 2008 #

    i love how simple the idea of stewardship of the earth can be to children. it is so straight forward and matter of fact.

    i just found my 4th grade composition book and one of our assignments was “what would you do if you were president?” and my answer was “i would only allow 5 developments per city and everyone would have to carpool”. i assume by developments i meant housing tracts since i grew up in a rural part of San Diego county that was just beginning to be developed and i hated to see the dessert hills cut away at to make new subdivisions.

    i plan to have lunch at the Earth Day LA festival and observe the Car Free LA by commuting (per usual) on subway and light rail trains.

  3. adam king — April 22, 2008 #

    great earth day article, makeesha. i really identified with your feelings on the day. ever since i ran for the green party back a couple years ago, i’ve felt this weird pressure from people to identify with all things ‘green’, when a lot of it strikes me as pointless posturing. i think you’re right—it’s that pure, unjaded outlook that we had as kids that we all need in our lives if we want to look at the world in truth and love. it makes doing the right thing seem much more easily accomplished and worthwhile when you aren’t second-guessing motives and perceptions and outcomes. not to say we shouldn’t be smart about stuff, but, yeah, i guess faith like a child is useful beyond just what society calls ’spiritual things’. maybe it’s really the base on which building a better world is possible, both in this world and the next.

  4. Mak — April 22, 2008 #

    myste - that’s precious what you said when you were young! adam - thanks :) yes, I’m actually horrible at seeing things in an uncomplicated way - honestly, it’s not my natural bent - that’s one area in which being a mother and at least having the sense to learn from my kids has benefited me so much. This is a whole different topic that I should write about but I really hate the air of superiority we have in the west toward children…I think it makes us stupid (to use a typical kid word that is banned in our house lol)

  5. Maria — April 22, 2008 #

    My almost-6-year-old wanted to observe Earth Day this morning by 1) insisting I turn off the night light in her room and 2) asking if she could use the toilet without flushing it to save water. Simple. And probably accomplishing as much as a lot of folks spilling the virtual ink today.

  6. Bonny — April 23, 2008 #

    I’ve felt really overwhelmed this year but the increasing trendiness of being “green.” Not that I DON’T want people being aware and making conscious good environmental decisions, but it seems so much about “replace your perfectly good _______” that you already have with this new and improved and ecofriendly ________. The message just seems to be so over-complicated.

    I hear ya about the kids perspective. I love how they keep it simple and are so optimistic.

  7. kendra — April 23, 2008 #

    AMEN, sistah!!! I wish I had the privilege to spend Earth Day with Shayel… I definitely appreciate her wisdom.

    PS I miss you. Time for coffee or another drive to Denver or something.

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