Life out of Balance

If we don’t learn how to travel along the avenues of awareness, we will come to such a state of frustration and despair that humanity will end up destroying itself. Our options are the way of the warrior, or extinction. ~ Carlos Castaneda, Encounters with the Nagual

This quote has been on my mind daily for about a year and will not leave. It has become a type of mantra that plays over and over as I am witness to situations, occurrences and incidents that are harmful to the environment and the beautiful animal creatures that inhabit her, including us. Most of my free time is spent outdoors, in the garden, camping in the remote wilderness, walking through the desert or forest enjoying the smells, sounds and wildlife that accompanies me.

My connection with the earth and all of her beings is so deep that when I read about things like the Alaskan Aerial Wolf Killing Program initiated by Sarah Palin or the atrocities surrounding the factory farming industry as portrayed in the full length movie Earthlings, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix or the destruction of the rainforests or the harvesting of dolphins I am moved to tears and experience a wrenching feeling in the center of my being somewhere between my heart and my stomach. I was only able to watch the first 20 minutes of Earthlings before I had to turn it off. It was in that moment of crying and gagging and feelings of utter disgust a little over a year ago that I became a vegetarian, practically vegan (free range eggs, homemade cheese and that’s about it). And I have to admit that The Cove Movie will definitely not be a movie that I will be able to even entertain the idea of watching, it just won’t happen after watching the 2 minute trailer. But my heart knows what that movie portrays and my soul cries.

What the hell has happened to us? What has caused people to become so out of control? Yeah, greed, fear, and ignorance come to mind. But how and when will it end? My simple response to this is education and taking responsibility. Movies like Earthlings, The Cove, Fast Food Nation, and Super-Size Me should be shown at the elementary school level. The impact that they would have on children would be profound. Yes, the outcries and protests from parents are already echoing in my head, their meager pleas to protect their children from seeing the horrible truth. Better the unmonitored children continue watching horrific television shows depicting murders, sexual violence and school massacres. Young teens who watch more than an hour of television a day are nearly four times as likely to commit aggressive acts in later years than those who watch less than an hour, says the nation’s first long-term look at television and violence.

Why isn’t the media attempting to publish this kind of information and make it widely available? Can you imagine if this was on the front cover of every tabloid instead of the eternal life stories of Brangelina, Brittney Spears and Jennifer Aniston? Or if the first 2 minutes of the evening news portrayed the devastating effects humanity is having on the earth. Never mind, what was I thinking? People would turn away in disgust if they were to see a photo of wolves getting shot or mountains of plastic floating in the sea or the brutal conditions of factory farms. Or they’d somehow rationalize it the same way they rationalize global warming and war. Sadly, ignorance is bliss.

Only as a warrior can one survive the path of knowledge, because the art of a warrior is to balance the terror of being a man with the wonder of being a man. ~ Carlos Castaneda

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