Where is the Respect? There is one thing people of Earth have in common. They are all born, raised, and live their entire lives on planet Earth. They breathe oxygenated air made from the Earth’s trees, eat food grown in the soil, and drink pure water from Mother Nature’s springs. Yet, most humans do not make the connection that their very survival depends upon a healthy, thriving planet. Many treat the earth like the gum on the bottom of their shoes. Where is the respect for our one and only Earth, who has lovingly given all species that live on her food, shelter, and all things necessary in order to survive?
It is a well-known fact that humans have been living on and modifying the earth since the beginning of time. Today, it is called “managing our resources” or “drilling responsibly,” but these actions still prove the arrogance of humanity to believe the earth is ours to manipulate. As we continue to inhabit this planet, we destroy our precious environment without concern for how our actions affect others who inhabit our planet. We are continually warned by scientists that our activities present danger to the environment.
For example, our over-consumption is associated with limiting natural resources, and deforestation is a threat to the survival of all species on Earth. Trees produce oxygen, a necessity for life; what happens when it’s all gone? The future of the Earth remains in doubt, due to the damaging impacts that arise from the human’s greed for their own fulfillment and ego. We assume that humans are the better, more intelligent species on Earth, despite the fact dolphins have a higher functioning brain than humans.
Look what we’ve done to this highly intelligent species; our military straps bombs onto the precious mammals to use them as potential weapons! As Chief Seattle cautioned us so many years ago, “we belong to the earth; it does not belong to us. ” We don’t deserve to be at the top; the bottom of all the species seems more fitting. I believe other animals have a right to exist on this planet just as humans do. Only when humans realize we are not as important as we believe ourselves to be, we will learn the important lesson that we are all connected to each other and everything we do affects each other.
Somehow, I have learned respect for the “lesser species” that inhabit the Earth, a respect greater than what I currently hold for most humans. In fact, so strange is our race today, I would hardly classify humans as a race of mammals because all other mammals live in harmony with their environment, existing without disrupting their life cycle and perpetuating the next generation of their species. All, except us humans. We are tailoring the world to suit our selfish, egotistical selves without one bit of concern about the next generation of our species, let alone any other species.
Living in harmony with nature is not a priority with corporations or acceptable to most of us either. We want our SUVs, jet skis, yachts, and other symbols Wall Street tells us are measures of affluence and luxury. This frivolous attitude comes at a great expense, the greatest expense; the ones who pay for our arrogant decisions are the organisms that depend upon the planet for survival. Not even the single celled Amoeba will escape unaffected by human’s lack of respect for the earth.
Humans mine Earth’s resources to depletion and leave massive environmental cleanups in their wake. In many large cities like New York, it is not unlikely, especially for a low income person, to have no contact whatsoever with the Earth and only know what a forest looks like through a picture. While they have some idea of open space with Central Park, many New Yorkers never know what a dark night sky looks like, the deeply serene quiet of a mountaintop, or the calm energy of a babbling stream.
Native Americans have been telling us for centuries that we must know our connection to the planet but have been ignored until recently. The planets increasing climate change has brought incredible weather disasters around the globe this year and is proof Native American Elders were right when they tried to alert us and Washington, D. C. In the 1970’s, a group of Native American Lakota Holy men went to Washington to meet with representatives and discuss the planet’s future. Obviously, they were ignored.
From the moment we are born on this planet, we humans do nothing but take, take, take. If we can raise awareness in our children and teach them about their precious connection to our planet, we will have future generations that care about the Earth instead of ignoring her. Humans don’t even consider the idea that Earth is our mother, let alone one who provides everything we need for our survival. Humans seem to believe instead that we can live a lavish, consumption lifestyle while species become extinct every day. Where is the respect with that attitude?