The land is crying out. The oceans are crying out. The atmosphere is crying out. The people who can no longer live next to the sea that has been the source of their livelihood are crying out. Those who are immobilized at the bottom of a vastly unequal economic pyramid are crying out. Those indigenous peoples who have been dispossessed of their lands and their culture are crying out. They are all asking that the ‘culture of indifference’ stop. They are all pleading with those who have more to no longer believe that “survival of the fittest” is an ecology that humanity can continue to live by.
We, who are more comfortable, whether physically, financially, emotionally, or spiritually, need to hear the cries of the suffering, and not only of the suffering people but of the suffering oceans. of the suffering rivers, of the suffering air that we breathe.
We, who are more comfortable, whether physically, financially, emotionally, or spiritually, need to hear the cries of the suffering, and not only of the suffering people but of the suffering oceans. of the suffering rivers, of the suffering air that we breathe. We cannot afford to continue to lead a comfortable life as if we are entitled to it, with all the cries around us asking that we pay attention. And what attention shall it be? What is there to do in the face of such a vast amount of suffering?
It is to reclaim our humanity which allows us to bear the suffering of others, of the earth, of the oceans, in the fullness of our love. It is to not separate ourselves any longer into the limited and tiny enclaves we have created for ourselves in order to feel more secure, more protected from outer challenges. There is a truth that we have not wanted to face and have been unwilling to face because it means abandoning our insular sense of security.It is to know that ‘we belong to each other.’ That the earth’s suffering belongs to us and our suffering belongs to the earth. That the
ones who are having to relocate because the fish that they once harvested are no longer plentiful belong to us. That the trees in the forest that are being cut down to make room for profit-making agriculture belong to us. We need to feel their pain and carry it with us.
In order to do this, we have heard it said that our heart needs to grow larger. This is true, but what does it mean? It means that our sense of wellbeing needs to come not from things being pleasant, or easy, or smooth, but from our love and compassion growing so large that it sustains us and spreads outward. This is the wellbeing that we need to bring into the world – the willingness to redefine what being ‘human’ means in terms of the amount of love we share with others, with the earth, with all creatures, and the amount of compassion we allow ourselves to feel for the suffering of all.
The time for complacency and insularity has long passed. The cries of the earth are getting louder and louder each day. This is not a metaphor or a fairly tale, but the progression of massive ecological changes leading to species extinction, loss of habitat, and endangerment of the planet as a whole. Do not think that there is an easier way than listening to the cries that resound in your ears. There is no easier way. The way of love must become the basis for our life together. The way of love allows us to witness suffering, to bear it, and to find the highest and best means of dealing with it. Do not believe that you have come to the earth at this time just to witness the earth’s problems and suffering without being able to do anything about it. You have come here to help, and your help needs to begin by abandoning indifference and opening your heart more fully so that you can help carry the pain of the world.
This is not a message of sadness but a message of joy and of transformation. For in the opening of the heart, and in the abdication of our
willingness to be indifferent, we possess the most effective means for changing the suffering of the world and bringing about a new time for the earth.