Almost nobody likes to think of themselves as a bad guy. Whether an embezzling politician, a soldier in Rowanda, a Japanese dolphin hunter or just the average person on the street, we fool ourselves with stories of necessity to justify and cover up any of our less noble acts. But where does a clear-eyed look at the role we play in this world leave us? A few questions to ask yourself:
Are you in it for the money?
Is your job, or whatever takes up the majority of your days, something you are doing out of love, care or compassion, or is it simply something to pay the bills?
How much and how often do you give?
What do you offer the world, or those in need, free of any charge? This could mean time, effort, skills or support that is monetary, spiritual, physical or emotional.
Is this once a year? Once a month? Once a week? Every day?
How aware are you of the potentially harmful impact of your daily actions on other people, animals and the environment and how much do you care?
For many, honest answers may start to paint a less than pretty picture.
Example: I know a geologist working for a mining company. He enjoys his time in the remote, rugged pristine places, examining rock samples for traces of precious minerals. He writes songs about the beauty he beholds and he makes a lot of money at this job. He has a young family to feed. But when, and if, the desired deposits are found, the company moves in and utterly despoils the once beautiful wilderness to claim these ‘natural resources’. But by then, this geologist is already far away at the next site….
In the eyes of the world, in the eyes of the Earth, is he a good guy or a bad guy?
If we cannot view Nature with the same concerned care we extend to our own families and loved ones, if we cannot make this change, we have no future.
Leah Lemieux is an author and lecturer who works on dolphin protection, education and conservation initiatives.