The world today is full of trouble. Bombings, hurricanes, global warming, pursuit of wealth, just to name some. There’s a new crisis every day. In my spiritual reading, lately, I’ve been reading Peter Seewald’s book-length interview with Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI. I’m not all the way through it, but in light of the bombing in Boston, and the general state of the world, he had some advice.
The Pope says that the biggest problem with the world today is too much top d0wn government, by decree, and not enough self governance, from the heart. Take the “Global Warming” situation. There have been many, many conferences around the world on Global Warming, and what to do about it. And the mistake being made is that these bodies of officials believe that it’s up to the State to tell the world what we must do. And thus, nothing gets done. But if we, as individuals, try to do the little things we can do, on our own, we can back off of ‘the problem’.
Personally, I don’t believe that Mankind causes global warming. I believe that climate control is beyond my capacity. That being said, I think there’s a need for the world to consume less, distribute more, and be good stewards of our planet. It’s a personal thing. For example, me, personally, I drive an older car. It, frankly, consumes more gasoline than newer cars. I’m being selfish, because, being an older car, it’s got solid metal in the frame and the body, and I’m a lot less likely to die in a serious wreck, so this protects my family. I believe the government’s CAFE standards for making cars more fuel efficient, while good on the surface, sacrifices personal safety. Have you seen SMART cars??? My car gets 15 MPG. But my situation is that I don’t drive it very much. I fill up once a month, on average. I do my part. We recycle, we minimize our utility use, we have a drought-tolerant landscape, and so on.
Conservation does not mean that you let resources go to waste. Teddy Roosevelt was a Conservationist. As such, he hunted and fished, and used the meat to the nourishment of his, and others, bodies. Conservationists use fallen trees for lumber, reclaim old lumber from old buildings, and old bricks to make new structures. Sierra Club types advocate for leaving the forest untouched, unspoiled, and letting lightning consume the forest every so often.
All of this leads to the point. Let everyone examine himself, and figure out ways to stop wasting resources. The same examination should lead to figuring out how you can live more peaceably with your neighbor, whether the one you flipped off on the road to work this morning, or the one who lives next door who needs help getting the groceries into the kitchen. We live in a global world, and everyone has different ideas. As Christians, let’s live like Christians. Use your resources wisely, don’t try to keep up with technology so much, save for the future, both in your personal finances, and in our global resources. And put people in office who will do the same with government…