Doesn’t it seem so? Every day the paperboy brings more: rising CO2; plastic continents in the oceans; too much nitrogen; not enough tuna. Don’t even get me started on birds. You know the rest. You’ve probably switched off already. I know I had until I switched back on, again got present to the riches available on the cruise ship Earth.
But the damage is overwhelming. The situation is wrong. Industry and lifestyle are bad. We may as well fiddle while the planet burns. And we get stressed out, blame the scapegoats and worst of all: we can’t even dampen the fire.
The bringer of the nitrogen news, Priscilla Stuckey, heard my overwhelm and responds with a spiritual possibility. I like that. I’d like to add generosity. Not just generosity with money and time but generosity with all that X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing energy that we expend. What a huge resource that would be!
There’s more: how about generosity with our “rights”? I hear the word brandished so much that it seems as abundant as oxygen. Surely we could give some up? Wouldn’t it be the gift that keeps on giving? Not the once-off couple of quid bunged into a charity tin but a lifetime of reigning in a demand.
I don’t know where the line is here. It’s personal, I guess. For my part, and semi-inspired by Rush Limbaugh of all people, I don’t see that I have a right to life, or at least to making a living. The planet doesn’t owe me. I’ll do what I see as fit and useful and if the universe agrees, it will provide. Otherwise, I shall go gentle into that good night.
Extreme and not to everyone’s taste but, like I said, it’s personal. Even a small daily gift to the planet would create a habit and pave the way for bigger, lifelong commitments. Meanwhile, we could do worse than start at generous.org.uk, the only such site I’ve found on the Web. Breathe some life into the possibility.
*Private Frazer, of course, in Dad’s Army