Wednesday, September 16, 2015
We are living in an industrial age, says the priest columnist in the Peace Weekly, and can look back on the infant, child and adolescent stages of growth. In this last stage, many show an interest in our natural environment and are attracted, but the opposing voices minimize and ignore the issue. Balance was lost, and we have regression in the adolescent state and the appearance of pathological aspects of growth: materialism, greed, hostility, extreme competition, spotted with violence: followed with racial, gender and elderly prejudice, giving birth to many aberrations.
We see the development of this industrialism throughout the world and the growth of morbid symptoms of self-aggrandizement. And yet with millions living in dire poverty, we still put those with these aspirations in places to run our government. Any alternative proposals are shot down; programs for growth in maturity are difficult to implement. Many who have been promoting the interest in ecology have stopped their efforts. Industrialization restrains the ecological dimension, and extends consumerism, and puts controls on the spirit; which gives rise to more immature citizens.
When our social attitude is such that we disregard a person's true nature this is an obstacle to our human growth, and we approach tragedy. We need to realize what living with nature will do for us in comparison to what industrialization has given us.
Two authors and authorities in this field have given us three steps to follow to achieve this change within our society. Joanna Macy and Molly Young Brown have listed the three steps as follows: First, actions that will slow down the damage being done to the earth and humans. Participating in blockades, boycotts, civil legal suits, and refusal to go along with proposals that are harmful to nature and our environment, and work to change laws, work politically, and work in campaigns.
Secondly: analyze the structural causes and create alternatives. We have to make a change and free ourselves from the damage being inflicted on us by the industrial society in which we live. We have to see what the industrial society is doing to us and society; see the way it tempts us and prevents us from progressing. We have to prepare alternatives to the way things are done.
Thirdly: we need a shift on the way we see society and values. We have to understand what we want and how to get it. It is not demanding that we become supermen, but people with vision.
We have to see ourselves as mature citizens of the world. Our identity, the columnist concludes, and our central values have to correspond to this reality. If we are to be persons of the future we need to start now.