By Tom Church
It’s hard. Sometimes it’s impossible. Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. The great Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson sang “ I'm gonna live the life I sing about in my song , I’m gonna live for the right and always shun the wrong; you can't go to church and shout on a Sunday, go out and get drunk and raise Hell on a Monday”.
But we all have trouble doing “the right thing” sometimes. We're not Saints. Sometimes doing the right thing isn't easy. It’s relatively easy to point out what’s wrong but quite another to propose an alternative. One that you and others can buy into.
In my household we’re concerned about the environment in so many ways. Do we have a hybrid or electric car? Do we have solar panels on our house for electricity and water heating? Do we even make sure we turn off lights and unplug power drains when we don't need them on?
Ray, the instructor in a Solar Voltaic course I took, told a story of a guy who hired him to put in a bank of panels. The next year the guy called and wanted more. When the installer showed up at the house it was lit up like a Christmas tree. TV’s were on with nobody watching. You know the scene. Ray suggested they make some changes in their habits. They cut back for about six months. Then called back. Let’s install the extra panels. It was too hard to be so careful. Where’s that at? “Doing the right thing” was too hard.
Or sometimes we're forced into doing the right thing.
There’s a lake in the Poconos where the association of property owners was told that a group of investors were seeking permission, and probably going to get it, to install a large electrical turbine at the dam to sell electricity to the power company. What happened? The owners were able to come up with the money to do it themselves and maintain their control. How many of us could have done that? Some years later they were selling enough that they were making money on their investment. They were forced into it, but it paid off for them in the long run. How many of us have the foresight and resources to do this? Not many.
Speaking of resources, what about the finite resources available to us on this planet. Charles Eisenstein’s book “Sacred Economics” is about this common wealth of resources, how they've been stolen, and labeled private commodities and sold for private gain. These thieves mine and sell this common wealth, minerals and water and whatever they can think of, until it’s exhausted. Then they move on to the next higher hanging fruit. Some even advertise that they are doing good things for the environment. Go figure. Free Enterprise. Yes, it costs them to exploit us and they provide services, but this killing the tree to get the fruit is not good for anyone. Except them. Not their grandchildren.
We're on a budget. Like any household. Just because we have it doesn’t mean we should spend it until it’s gone. And like any other household, we have to renew our resources to continue. And it’s been proven through the short history of man that we have the ingenuity to change our focus and solve problems in new ways. To go to resources that can be renewed. We need a major re-focus to “do the right thing” before we’re not here to do anything.