Saturday, June 20, 2015

I was thinking about a few things

Sri Lanka 1981: First time meeting an elephant 
I was thinking about social media this morning. I admit that when I first stepped tentatively into that universe it was with the intention of bringing my writing to the attention of as many people as possible. Being a private person, I was a bit confused by Facebook, which has always had me in a bind. On the one hand, I don't like sharing every little detail of my life, except with very close friends. On the other hand, I'm not comfortable promoting my work on Facebook as often as I should.

Twitter was a different story. With only 140 characters with which to say what needed to be said, it allowed a certain amount of anonymity. I could promote my book to my heart's content on Twitter without feeling as though I was being a nuisance. Best of all, it didn't seem anybody cared one way or another about my personal life. That was fine by me.

Yet it's through Twitter that I've met the most people and made the most friends. It's on Twitter that I find myself engaging in conversation. I enjoy chatting, if briefly, with people from every continent. When I'm on Twitter, I'm connected with the entire world and I love that. That world gets bigger every day and my views on why I'm in it have changed a lot since I opened my Twitter account and set out to sell my debut novel.

Audrey Hepburn said something that resonates with me now that I'm getting older. She said, "As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others." Having a social media platform was originally for the purpose of marketing. Now it's also for helping to create awareness of things that need to be changed, things we can all help to change. As Eckhart Tolle said, "Awareness is the greatest agent for change."

Yesterday was a joyous day for me. I read the Pope's encyclical. It's what inspired this post. I also read numerous news items and editorials about it. I can't remember when last I felt so excited. Which environmental and wildlife activist wouldn't be excited to see the stir it created and the action it's inspired? Not to mention the awareness it's created of the danger Mother Earth is in.


1. “LAUDATO SI’, mi’ Signore” – “Praise be to you, my Lord”. In the words of this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us, and who produces various fruit with coloured flowers and herbs.”

2. This sister now cries out to us because of the harm we have inflicted on her by our irresponsible use and abuse of the goods with which God has endowed her. We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will. The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life. This is why the earth herself, burdened and laid waste, is among the most abandoned and maltreated of our poor; she “groans in travail” (Rom 8:22). We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the earth (cf. Gen2:7); our very bodies are made up of her elements, we breathe her air and we receive life and refreshment from her waters.Click here for complete text

Here's what Bartholomew and Justin Welby had to say in their  commentary "Climate Change and Moral Responsibility" in yesterday's New York Times.

"However, health is symptomatic of a larger problem, which undermines and fragments our broader worldview. In addition to highlighting the effects of climate change, we must address the root of the problem. In so doing, we will discover how the benefits of assuming moral responsibility and taking immediate action — not just on matters related to health, but also world economy and global policy — far outweigh the cost of remaining indifferent and passive."

Which came first - the chicken or the egg?

J.P. Lane

Please visit my Pinterest board Protect Our Planet if you have a chance.
There's a beautiful collection of wildlife, plus all sorts of articles.