Which are You?

As I watched the Dalai Lama this morning on the Research Channel, talking about compassion, it came to me what a wondrous species human kind, in our response to challenges, problems and threats. Individually and through our politico-religious communities, we are very predictable. If I were a scientist I could classify us:

Some people respond with incredible acts of compassion;
Some people respond with incredible acts of war, cruelty and torture;
Some people, of course if they can afford to, are “head in the sand;”
Others work harder and harder trying to engineer solutions.

We are such a clever and ingenious race, we have gotten by in those ways for millennia, trying to control reality, and doing fairly well at it with our farms, airplanes, internet and all that. But we do not have the power to change the basic bottom line laws of cause and effect, nor can we change reality. The factual reality is that the earth ecosystem lives in balance or it doesn’t live.

So today, we are faced with a crisis that is new to human kind. We have not enough of resources to provide for the numbers of people that we have or soon will have, and none of our classic responses can change the roots of the challenge, which require that we nurture the balance of our earth ecosystem. We do have the technology, but we have chosen to use it for growth rather than balance. And so we are increasingly facing the effects of our communal (mis)behavior.

The root challenge is populational, and I can’t move populations, but I do get to choose how I personally will respond to the challenge:

I tried “head in the sand.” It didn’t help anyone, not even me.
Technology will not change the laws of nature.
Nobody can force me to knowingly torture anything.

So, as we seem to be going down the tubes anyhow — I choose compassion.

EarthThe most compassionate act I can think of would be to make birth control technology available for everyone who wants it. Can you think of any other act of compassion that would more positively impact BOTH the needy individual AND the whole needy community of an earth ecosystem faced with war, cruelty, starvation and epidemic disease that are caused by overpopulation?

If so, please let me know what it is.

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