Grasshopper Soup: Earth Day could be People Day | SierraSun.com

Grasshopper Soup: Earth Day could be People Day

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

When the photograph of the whole earth was first seen, human consciousness changed in ways not known since the dawn of man. Now all we need to see is a picture of the whole person. It is time we learned to see one another the same way we see the earth, with absolute wonder and awe. Ecological balance wonand#8217;t do anybody any good if we canand#8217;t see one another as we would like to be seen, and treat each other better than we are doing.

We prevent the evolution of human consciousness when we limit our definition of ourselves and others to our own understanding, our own social and political paradigm or our own social and professional image. As long as we define each other as liberals or conservatives, religious or secular, and ignore the common humanity we share with everyone, we drastically impede our own personal development. When we compare and contrast ourselves with one another in terms of our own accomplishments, our own social, financial and professional success, and define others as less smart, less valuable and less productive for not achieving what we have achieved, we prolong injustice and perpetuate bigotry, and maybe even create new forms of prejudice.

With arrogance and condescension, and negative, sweeping generalizations about individuals and groups, we create an atmosphere for bad things to happen. We stall the advancement of all mankind, turn away from peace and harmony and continue on a path of racial, political and social discrimination.

Affluence is not green unless it is shared. The more money we make, the more we consume. The more we consume, the more we contribute to poverty and pollution. But the population will continue to grow, making more and more consumption necessary.

So how do we guarantee a peaceful, clean world? First, the population must be restricted. I do not propose that at all. Also, global laws would have to be established to control everything everyone does, where everyone can and canand#8217;t go, how many children we can or cannot have. All the children of the world would have to be educated to think and believe the same things and taught to fight against any thought or idea that would lead to even the slightest modification of the status quo. Severe penalties would have to be carried out against anyone who breaks those laws. Or, we could all simply learn how to love one another. Is that even possible locally, let alone on a whole earth scale?

Technical advancements, financial responsibility and clean energy development alone will not be enough to improve the quality of life for mankind. Enormous spiritual and emotional advances must be made as well. This should be everyoneand#8217;s first priority.

These are just some thoughts, and in no way should these words be mistaken for a comprehensive solution to everything. There are other perspectives to add. But, as we share our ideas, empathy must prevail over our natural obsession to always be right and to make others appear wrong.

Even in a perfect world, the ultimate proof of our humanity has nothing to do with the condition of the earth, or what we have. It has nothing to do with anything material. Even in a perfect world, real human success is measured by how we treat one another, and especially how we treat the weak, the less powerful, the poor, and the sick.

In the grand scheme of things, there is not one human being on this entire planet who is any better than anyone else. The sooner we all figure that out, and believe it as a natural fact, the sooner Earth can truly become the home it should be for everyone.

It sounds hard, but putting others first may be the quickest, easiest way to a sustainable earth.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 27 years.