Viewpoint: The Battle in the Penokee Hills
Being played out in the Penokee Hills is a mighty struggle between the arrayed forces of money-loving insanity and those smaller and apparently less powerful forces that express, embrace, protect and respect life, peace and sanity. (It reminds me of the ungodly braggart Goliath facing a little shepherd boy.)
I hope to shed some light on the battle taking place in the Penokee hills by sharing a couple of things the Ojibwa Indians taught me about sensible, peaceful and sane living. For example, treating others with contempt, lying to them, being cruel or exploiting them for your own advantage is clearly insane. It is crazy, unloving, and cannot make for peace.
For another example, it is never sane to poison the water we all drink or the air we all breathe or to destroy the Earth that sustains us all. And it is nonsense to imagine we can do that to “just a little portion” of the complex whole as if nothing is connected to anything else. It may be even crazier to imagine that we can do such destructive things with impunity or without repercussions. I think it is becoming increasingly obvious that we can get away with nonsense like that only in the short run. But the consequences of our short-sightedness will inevitably follow.
The lesson? I think that disrespecting and violating man, nature, life and living things, as if one is unrelated to any of it or stands above it all, comes from delusional thinking. It is crazy and can only lead to trouble and havoc. In my opinion, a person who thinks that way clearly does not know who they are or their place and limited power in their wee spot and short life on this living earth in this vast creation, God’s gift to all of us.
So, if you poison a fish, it will poison you. We can kill ourselves with the air we have made unbreathable. And if we give no thought to the generations to follow, we can easily make it impossible for them to survive. We reap what we sow. And we pass it on.
This same struggle is now emerging on the plains, as the indigenous people (and others) there face identical forces that can destroy life while promising to do just the opposite. Seems the folks there are afraid of life-threatening oil spills. Scaredy cats. Fussy, fussy.
We need to pay attention, think and decide for ourselves where we stand. Thinking and praying about basic biblical teachings can be of immense help in this process. But ya gotta’ start somewhere.
Ray Drake, Hayward