Lately I’m feeling disgust for my species; we’re a stupid species who fouls its nest and fouls the nest of every other living creature on earth.
Blind to our stupidity, we operate as if we’re the only species that matters. Just one example of countless examples: when people come back from their Caribbean holidays and tell me they’ve swum with dolphins. They always say how incredible it was and their oblivious cruelty makes me cringe. I think of the dolphins, the tragedy of their caged existence, how they must swim up to each new human that enters their cage hoping that maybe this will be a smart human who will set them free. It’s a glaring testimony to the dolphin’s superiority and intelligence that they don’t harm the stupid humans who enter their cage.
Not only blind to the suffering we inflict upon other creatures, we’re blind to the ecosystems which surround and support us. Yesterday I watched an elderly woman, with one hand holding the hand of a small boy I assumed was her grandson, with her other hand holding a spray bottle weed killer. She was bent over and aiming the poison at the dandelions in her lawn and because the boy was under a meter tall the spray squirted right past his face. Wrong on so many levels. We’re living with a bazillion problems. And the root is unethical, unbridled capitalism and the economic model that supports it. A hundred years of it, six or more generations of materialism and what’s the result? Consuming idiots, righteous fools, so many people blinded to their disordered thinking.
I’m fed up. And this is a dangerous place to be, especially as a Buddhist, as a woman with plenty of life experience who believes in tolerance and compassion. Two of my formative years were spent among the hippies and counterculture so in my heart-of-hearts I believe in peace and love and standing up for positive change; my goal has always been to become a wise old woman and along the way I’ve paid special attention to the change agents bringing light and guidance and inspiration to the world. And yet now I see myself too often taking the role of scold; I hear my voice being angry and strident. And I no longer care, that’s how disgusted I am.
And I disgust me. I’m trapped in this paradigm, I keep juggling my various hypocrisies. I want big oil to stop; I drive a car. I hate sweatshop slavery; when I’m feeling poor I plug my nose and shop at Wal-Mart. The list goes on and on. Some days I feel like we’re doomed and nothing that we do will matter. No wonder so many people just want to see pictures of kittens.
I know in my primordial gut that many, many people are feeling the same way. I’m starting to look to the activists for the hope I so desperately need. I want the activists to be peaceful but I’m realizing that serious direct action is required. The Sea Shepherd Society have become my heroes, I now believe that we’ll have to step outside the boundaries of what’s legal in order to do what’s right. Multi-national corporations can’t keep carrying on with their status quo, ignoring the truth of this earth’s sickened ecosystems. Governments can’t keep acting like their well-fed lap dogs. There’s a big spotlight on all the greedy pirates now. Enough is enough. And I’m scared. How far will we have to go in order to make it clear that we’re fed up with being hypocrites?