Who’s WE? and why do YOU get to determine who WE is?

Timbo says this in a comment that I read in an article in Scientific American called

Walking the Line: How to Identify Safe Limits for Human Impacts on the Planet

Should planetary limits on the alteration of critical environmental systems be used as guidelines for human activity?

Here’s just a snippet of the article:

“It would be good to define planetary boundaries at multiple scales—local, regional and global,” adds ecologist Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota and a co-author of the planetary boundaries concept. But “if there are major changes in the global environment, beyond what we have experienced in the Holocene, then this could represent a serious disruption to our civilization.”

So I will throw this together with a few different elements right now.

I saw a quote on FB by Mind Recipes yesterday that said

“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.”

John Maxwell

That resonated with me in 10-part harmony. Aphorisms state the obvious that everyone else in the club is avoiding. What other bad metaphors can I throw out now?

Yes, it’s a great day to grow up!

Which led me to the next part of my equation (or chorale, if I stick to that theme).

I’ve been remembering a Truffaut movie we saw years ago called Small Change. Here’s some of what Roger Ebert said about it:

(Truffaut) tells the stories of several kids in a French provincial town, and of their parents and teachers. His method is episodic; only gradually do we begin to recognize faces, to pick the central characters out from the rest. He correctly remembers that childhood itself is episodic: Each day seems separate from any other, each new experience is sharply etched, and important discoveries and revelations become great events surrounded by a void. It’s the accumulation of all those separate moments that create, at last, a person.

“Children exist in a state of grace,” he has a character say at one point. “They pass untouched through dangers that would destroy an adult.”

So that is the part that I am remembering. Children go through things that would destroy adults.

And yet…

The adults around them are destroyed. They make them suffer needlessly and you have to think that the reason they grow up to be troubled…so nothing is solved unless we start taking responsibility for our actions.

We can’t solve everything. David Hartman used to tell us you start by sweeping your corner of the universe.

And what is the thread that is tying these elements together for me now?

Well, besides everything, we have 2 weddings upcoming shortly that have messy parents’ divorces and stories that go along with them. Acrimonious at best and indifferent at worse.

One of the invitations came with four different sets of parents, mother-father and their new marriages. And yet these young couples are getting married.

They exist, for the moment, in a state of grace.

So back to my wise friend Timbo of the SA comment from above. He was quoting from someone else who dared to state what so many think (feel?) is obvious:

  1. Perhaps we should start by reducing the human population to preindustrial levels, say about 1 billion people?
  2. (Timbo:)Yes, great idea. Might I suggest that you go first? Perhaps WE could start the first great self- imposed human extinction with those collectivists who begin and end their ideas with “WE”. As in “WE need to put an end to the internal combustion engine”, or: “WE need to distribute the wealth more evenly”,or “WE need to force more people into electric cars” or, as above: WE Should reduce the human population to one billion people”. 
    Who’s WE? and why do YOU get to determine who WE is?…
    It is, admittedly, a big ugly meatgrinder of an economic system and will never be without its problems, but, to paraphrase some really smart guy, “All the others are so much worse”. The much greater threat comes from that relatively small group of do-gooders who think that they “know what’s best for us”.
     

I’m saying: Here’s your broom. Get started with your own mess. I’ve got plenty to do of my own.

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