July 13, 2010
How much of the world is as the Universe intended? This morning I heard a quote by Lyndon Johnson remarking on our precious national parks, “Will we preserve the world the way God made it and not the way it is when we get through with it?”
I too have often pondered this dilemma. Many is the time when traveling on a back road I try to envision what the landscape must have looked like before white men came to conquer. The idea of conquering is a quandary for me. There is the obvious conquest of Europeans over Native Americans and forests. Through their eyes killing both was a necessity for their survival. I don’t think Native Americans quite see it that way.
More recently, bloody conquests have been attempted with vengeance as millions of people applaud. There is no exit strategy. The hidden agenda is to keep the killing machine going for the sake of monetary gain by a handful of greedy corporations.
The real point is, when is enough, enough, and why, in this modern age, when supposedly intelligent people keep repeating historic blunders, is stupidity still admirable?
What have we sacrificed in the name of conquering? What exactly is behind the desperate need of subjugation? Ego? Greed? Power? Wealth? Humiliation? I suspect all the above. Are these really human needs?
There is also the slightly more subtle form of conquest over nature. My love of open spaces is a well-known fact among my friends and relatives. I see the open spaces and experience its healing effects, which soothes my soul. Upon closer examination there are very few open spaces that are free.
As I drive the back roads in awe of scenic landscapes there is always a fence to keep me out of private property. I must respect these boundaries as the view that I am admiring is owned by someone. On the rare occasion that there are no fences, I hike at a distance to savor the earth beneath my feet. However, I am never walking on native grasses, but on earth that has been manipulated in some way.
I realize that every square inch of this country is owned by someone, and has been altered in some form or another. Grass lands have been pressed into producing grain to feed us and to export to other countries. This very precious soil has been tampered with to the extent, that in some cases, it can no longer produce crops.
There are parks in urban areas with signs announcing, Enjoy Our Open Spaces. The hiking, biking and equestrian paths are posted with signs warning us to heed the rules of the park by staying on designated trails. No off trail hikes allowed.
Our mountains are under the management by the Department of Interior with Federal Government offices in D.C., and state parks managed by offices in the state capitol. Do these managers of our national and state parks ever step foot in our national treasures? I doubt it.
Native Americans are no longer engaged for rain dances during a drought. Instead the weather is being manipulated by cloud seeding, a process where chemicals, silver iodide and carbon dioxide, are seeded in clouds to stimulate rain.
We have rerouted rivers that never stay rerouted, built damns at the expense of pyramids, reduced mountains to rubble and sacrificed our food obtained in oceans for purposes that on the surface seemed logical, but in the long run have caused more harm to humans and the environment.
Whenever mother nature has her way it never ceases to amaze me how people react. When visiting friends, if the weather happens to be rainy, snowy, too hot, or too cold, they apologize as if they were personally responsible and in control of the climate.
I have heard people whine and complain when the weather was lousy while on vacation, as if the resort was liable. I am stunned beyond the pale whenever I hear “the weather just didn’t cooperate” as if it was a negotiable commodity. Arrogance seems to be running amok.
I also realize that with all the overbearing blunders we have made there have been enormous strides to compensate for our mistakes, but still, I would like to see what the Native Americans saw before we conquered.
How much of the world is as the Universe intended? “Will we preserve the world the way God made it and not the way it is when we get through with it?”
I admit looking towards heaven and smiling just a bit when mother nature wreaks havoc. I hope she continues to stay in charge. We need to learn the lesson that we cannot always conquer just because we need to satiate our every whim.