Sunday, April 15, 2012

Earth Day Memories

In my not so humble opinion the Earth Charter and Earth Day go together like peanut butter and jelly.  The first Earth Day after I endorsed the Earth Charter I decided that I would go to an Earth Day street fair in Tuscon (I was staying at an EcoVillage 100 miles north of there) and share the Earth Charter.  I had never attended any major Earth Day event before but I figured it would be the best possible venue for sharing and networking the Earth Charter.

Betty McDermott
Earth Charter
Secretariat Coordinator
I contacted the Earth Charter Secretariat and began my relations with Betty McDurmott who is an awesome woman currently acting as a project coordinator for the Earth Charter Secretariat.  At the time she was based in the U.S. and was my main contact person in obtaining brochures, posters, and any information that the fledgling 'ecoministry' that I founded needed to serve as a networking vehicle.  
I ordered Earth Charter brochures and a hundred small Earth Flags.  On the way to the street fair we stopped at a hardware store and bought 6 foot 1/4 inch wood dowels, cut them into 10 inch lengths and attached the Earth Flags to them.  I also had a bunch of 'Earth Native' bumper stickers and I was confident the day would yield nothing but success.  

My first encounter was with some peers who were getting out of a vehicle next to ours when we parked.  I barked over to them to check out what was up and they came over to hear my rap about the Earth Charter which spontaneously erupted from the information I had soaked up as well as my personal views of how important I felt it was.  

"What has the Earth ever
done for MEEEE?"

Everyone was rapt except this one girl who had a pinched face and the blown out bottom lip commonly found on the spoiled princess types that consume half the worlds resources with their equally blown out consumption/shopping habits.  She looks at me dead serious after I hand out the brochures and I kid you not says, "Why should I care about the Earth...what has the Earth done for me?"  

"Yo if I launched you into space
how long would you bug out
before you realized you
need oxygen to shout"
My jaw drop lasted 3 seconds and then my mouth-brain connection managed the first obvious response of "Why don't you hold your breath for more than 3 minutes and find out b*#ch..."  Everyone laughed and moved away from her as she stormed off in a huff.  I was able to engage in more info swapping with them before I moved onto streets and despite their enthusiasm I was vexed by her words.  How could any human being be so stupid as to make such a remark. 

By the end of the day I was asking how there could be so many human beings so disconnected from the ground they walk on!  Sure it was Earth Day but all I saw was massive commercial capitalism at its best.  Hardly no one on the street wanted to give me the time of day and the vendors simply waived me off after I gave them a brochure.  More people were interested in buying a 10 dollar mini Earth Flag then hearing what I had to say about the Earth Charter.  I was disheartened by the end of the day and on the drive back to the community I was staying at I pondered the interactions and reactions of the people I had encountered.  

It is difficult when faced with the realities of our species disconnection not only from the planet we live on that gives us life, but also each other.  I realized that I was at a cross road that probably everyone who has decided to become an advocate for any meaningful cause most likely has stood at.  One direction with a sign that reads "It's No Use" and the other direction has a sign that reads "Go Forward Regardless".  I made the following entry in my road journal:

"Better to bash myself upon the shores of my dreams than drown in mediocrity" 

I felt my 'gizzard' stir as I re-committed myself to the collective vision that I knew existed for a sustainable future.  10 Earth Days have passed since then and each year I re-commit myself on April 22nd.  I have witnessed a massive shift since then in the interest and awareness of sustainable living among people everywhere.  

Issues like peak oil and global warming have shifted peoples perspectives and I bet that big lipped princess is buying the latest in high dollar organic clothes made from bamboo!  Maybe the consumer collective has a role to play after all in making this shift?  I learned since then that everyone really does have a role to play and I am content with mine.  Happy Earth Day and don't forget to re-commit your own endorsement of the Earth Charter and if you have not yet then visit the Earth Charter Community to read and get your endorsement certificate today!