Sweating and belching, the young mother rolls into the Emergency Room at precisely one minute before midnight. The attending physician’s eyebrows take on the appearance of his last patient’s electro-cardiogram just before she died.
“What is it this time?” he says.
“I can’t keep a cool head,”she rasps. “Sweat streams like rushing rivers down my face. My feet are burning up. I can hardly breathe and my mouth is as dry as the Grand Canyon in August.”
His eyebrows cinch. “Is the stabbing pain in your lungs worse than when you were here last?”
“Yes,”she whispers. “It feels like someone has stuffed them into a wood-chipper whenever I exhale.”
“Ahhhh.” His lips flat-line. “And what of your heart?”
“It burns,” she groans. “Constantly.”
“I told you the last time you were here. It’s your children. They are the cause of all the stress in your life. Get rid of them and your troubles will be over.”
The mother gasps. “But I love them!”
“They don’t seem to love you. Otherwise, they would take better care of you, instead of sucking the life from you with all their demands. They are what’s making you sick.”
“Not intentionally, I’m sure,” she quips.
“Nonetheless – all they do is take, take, take. You need to stop giving them everything they want. Your resources are finite.”
“But – they need me. Who will feed them? Who will teach them? Who will make a happy, comfortable home for them? They are still so young.”
“Youth is no excuse. Besides, many are old enough to see that you are on the brink of a major breakdown.”
The mother trembles.
“You see what I mean? You are falling apart! The tremors will only worsen if you don’t start thinking of yourself first. ”
“But, I can’t -”
“If you don’t, then your children must. It is time for them to take care of you for a change. You need relief – and you need it today. How many of them are there now?”
“Oh, you know I’m not good with numbers,” she sighs. “Last time I counted, there were seven-billion-one-hundred-ninety-seven-million-four-hundred-seventy-five-thousand-two-hundred-and-six…no, seven-hundred-eleven…seven-hundred-ninety-nine. Ach, it changes so rapidly with their comings and goings, I can’t keep up.”
“Never mind. The issue is not your memory. It’s your health. Look at you! In the 4.54 billion years I have known you, I’ve never seen you in such a state.
“Unless your children take better care of you, your hot flashes will increase and become more intense. You will lose all control of your fluids and your skin will become even more patchy and dry than it is now.
“You have the worst case of climate change I have ever seen. That’s not to say that a good cleanse wouldn’t do you some good.”
“No! There must be something else I can do. What do you suggest?”
“It is up to them now.”
“But – ”
“No buts! I want to see you again in fifty years for a follow up. Oh – and Mother – rest assured, given time you will be fine. It’s your children’s health that is now a concern.”
Don’t you think our planet deserves to be honored and respected 24/7 for all that she gives us?
I consider everyone and everything to be connected – for every action we take, there is an effect. When I drink water from my tap, which 345 million fellow human beings do not have the luxury of doing, that’s 1200 plastic bottles and their caps that will not end up in a landfill, in the oceans’ 5 gyres, or sadly, in an albatross’s belly. We are poisoning our fish, our wildlife, and ultimately, ourselves.
When I die, I want my legacy to include a clean and healthy planet. Don’t you? I cannot do it alone, otherwise it would be a done deal. I need help – Your help. It doesn’t take much. Small, incremental changes is all it takes – turning off a light, combining errands in order to drive less, using as little plastic as possible – recycling. We could Plant a tree together. I’m sure you have your own ideas.
If single grains of sand can create this masterpiece when they join together,
Imagine what we can accomplish.
HAPPY EARTH DAY!