I'd hammer in the morning all over this land...
The first Earth Day was held in 1970 and the junior high school I was attending at the time decided to participate and do something to commemorate the occasion. Three of the most radical individuals on campus were selected to design and construct a concrete slab marker that would serve two purposes. The first purpose was to provide a mud free short cut for students as they traveled from the art department into the main building of the campus. The second purpose was to leave a memorial to future generations of our participation in the first ever Earth Day. Bob Jackson, Bob Ritchie and I began working on the project about a month before the big celebration.
The slab was a triangle shaped marker with the words End Pollution written in blue tiles across the longest of the three sides. A series of structures with smoke stacks spewed pollution into the air. It represented our vision of the corporate lack of concern with the greater world around it and the threat we considered selfish greed to be to the future of humanity. It represented the one great threat to planetary survival we hoped would be under control by the time we reached adulthood and inherited the world.
Thirty-seven years have passed since the day we put that marker into the ground. In that time I have walked in Washington D.C. to protest war, have marched on the campus of Kent State University to protest an out of control government opening fire upon its own children to silence criticism of its activities and I have walked to support civil rights for all of our citizenry on an equal basis. Every step of the journey as I spoke about my beliefs and what I felt was good for the overall welfare of the people I was looked at by the grownups around me and told, “Wait until you get a few years on you and then you’ll change your naïve point of view. Wait until you have a family of your own and then you’ll see the value of the Republican way.”
It always struck me as incredulous that the supposedly mature grownups around me believed that as I aged I would come to realize the wisdom of self interest as opposed to that of caring for the welfare of all men. For all the flag waving, preaching of family values and non-stop bible thumping of the Republican Party I have yet to hear any Republican leader ever run a campaign based on the human rights record of the Republican Party. NEVER! It has always been the platform of the G.O.P. to proclaim that only they are capable of leading the country in times of war, only they are good for the economy and only they are follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in a proper manner.
For thirty-seven years I have been told how someday I would mature into an individual who would swallow the lie of the Republican way and realize the value of putting my own welfare above that of the people around me. I am proud to report that as usual the Republican Party is wrong.
but it still remains true to it's message.
Thirty-seven years later I am now fifty-three years of age with a family of my own. I still believe that whatever is good for the greater number of my fellow beings at any given time is greater than the right of any one individual’s right to profit at the expense of the rest of us. Caring and sharing with our fellow man is superior to exploiting and cashing in on our fellow man. I still believe that walking into the future with as many of my fellow man in stride beside me as educated and enlightened beings is superior to any amount of riches I could accrue by exploiting everyone around me for personal profit.
Thirty-seven years ago I wrote it in stone. I stated who I thought had the greatest power to destroy the planet and the inhabitants who depend upon it for life itself. Yesterday I went to see if the message was still there. It was. Not only was the original message there but surrounding it were markers left by other young radicals who obviously agreed with the simple message left by three students thirty-seven years ago. It made me feel like I’d reached an awful lot of people with what I really want to say. The evil is in selfishness. When all that is cared for is immediate profit at the expense of the long term welfare of our fellow beings we can be sure we are living in an unhealthy environment.
Where will the millions of lead contaminated toys wind up buried? Who will pay the price as these toys degrade and enter our water supplies? How many children will take sick from chewing on toys purchased in garage sales and dollar stores never even knowing they were eating poison? For thirty-seven years I have watched as my country fell into an unhealthy and potentially fatal state of disease. As flags have waved and bibles have thumped like war drums about the dangers of homosexuality to our children I have continued speaking about what I believe is a far greater threat to their survival.
If you visit Van Buren Junior High School in
Yesterday I saw trees, fountains and plants of a wide variety surrounding a weathered stone slab showing the wear and tear of the many years it has seen pass over it. It reminded me of myself and the weathered lines upon my own face and the toll the many years have taken upon my aging body. I saw a glimmer of hope. I saw voices added to my own and a message being picked up by others and carried into a future I hope and pray will indeed be there for my own son.
It is not homosexuals we have to fear. It is not stem cell research we must be on guard against. What we must protect ourselves against are those who wave a flag in our faces as they hide behind a veil of lies killing our children and our environment in the name of profit. These evil men and women are the true danger to the future of our sons and daughters, our country and the planet on which we live. I said it thirty-seven years ago and I’ll repeat it again today; save our planet and save our children from the poison being pumped into our planet by the greed of the corporate machine. Start caring about your fellow beings. Without them you are diminished.
I had a wonderful birthday by the way. My family and my friends let me know how much I am loved and respected by them for who I am and what I do. I am blessed to be surrounded by good people both in the real world and here in the blogosphere.
My only purpose in these last couple of posts is to reflect upon my life and the events I have witnessed with my own eyes. I am not targeting individuals but rather organizations and I urge no one to take my comments personally, while at the same time urging everyone to take my words personally and think about what is happening in our world today.