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I am praying for my Nation to suffer from hurricanes, drought, and gasoline to hit eight dollars a gallon.

I am not sure whether I am depressed, overwhelmed, or mobilized.  The three seem to merge somewhere in the illusiveness of inaction.  Suddenly there is nothing to do except act.  Al Gore pitches the idea for action as a “moral responsibility”.  I respect this, but, in honesty (sorry Al) I do not think our Nation acts based on moral responsibility.  I am, yes, a happy (or presently depressed) cynic my friends used to say.  So, I come from  the place of waking up every day with a feeling of nauseous disgust in the pit of my stomach.  The behavior of my country seems to plod along the “immoral” line of complacency.  I see a blurb in last Sunday’s newspaper about a reality TV show about rich (spoiled) indulgent young women.  The nausea gets stronger.  Oh my god.  There can be no god.  But there must be a god to save us, because we are lost.  We have completely lost or “moral” directives.  Al, help me.  What is another way we can inspire.  This is what I ponder from the time I leave the film last night, An Inconvenient Truth, and the time I am meditating this morning when the heat hits me.  

So.  I call on the Kaballah.  I call on the Bible.  I call on the Zohar.  I call on the Koran.  I call on the Talmud.  I call on the angels.  I call on myself.  

I sit.

I think.

The nausea begins to subside.  

I believe, as my non-cynical partner says, that people act if they know that their inaction affects them.  Personally.  Forget about their children.  Forget about the planet.  Sadly, very sadly I concede, the majority of the Nation (our Nation) do not have either the energy, the privilege, or the education to have the wherewithal to look into the future and see consequences for their children.  They are just trying to feed their children.  Keep them out of trouble.  Keep them off drugs and, maybe, get them through high school.  SO that the children can then go off on their own and be self-governing bodies and income earners.  The American dream is a simple one for the majority of the Nation.  

So.  How do we convince all those people spread across Oklahoma (sorry OK, but I had the privilege of a week with you last summer) to turn off their air conditioning or, even, and no way will they do this out of moral consciousness, to turn it down to a moderate temperature so it is not freezing cold in doors.  A temperature they surely would not keep their house at in winter, so, why, in summer must we be so extreme?  

How do we get people who do only city driving NOT to drive SUVs.  Unless they are hybrids of course?

How do we get all those people to believe that the future is more important than their immediate comfort and satisfaction.

Al made some great points last night about the changes our country has made in its moral quest, like abolishing slavery and giving the women the right to vote.  Wow.  Yeah.  The big difference is that The North was, largely, opposed to slavery and many, in fact, did not have large numbers of slaves running their plantations as they did in the south.  And as for women voting, the men at the time did not think that giving women the vote would hurt the men.  And, so far, they have been right.  Perhaps they saw, with the exception of Barbara Boxer (sorry Barbara) that when women are elected to government, they, in turn, become men.  But.  Even the struggling middle class have air conditioners.  Do people act out of moral consequence and conscience or because the “moral” directive does not cause a great change in their comfort zone???  In spite of its implied moral conscientiousness…

Hmm.

I don’t want to answer.

To answer, perhaps we should just look at our school system.  Moral consciousness??? Why are some children crammed in classrooms with outdated textbooks, if any, and 100 degree classrooms expected to learn?  If we have a moral conscience, would we allow the children of our nation to be told, that because they are poor, they are unworthy?

The other dilemma for action in the face of moral consequence is that, as proven by my own scientific experiment, people become more concerned with being connected to others and to the planet the closer they get to leaving the others and the planet.  That is just a common psychological trend.  Its irony is effuse and magically intact at once.  What happens to the average human being as they confront their mortality, or have some life changing experience which forces their mortality in their path… is that they, often suddenly, see their moral consciousness, as if a mirror before them.  They see how alone they are.  The existential angst hits, and they search for meaning of the soul.  IF there is some after-existence, they want to be prepared for it.  And if, in fact, there is no after-existence, they want to leave something “good” on the planet, be it in the memory others carry on for them, or in impact for which they will be recognized.  Now, I say this knowing there are certain old codgers who don’t give a rat’s --- what they leave on the earth.  They remain greedy, corrupt, and blind by their justifications of their own “holy” war.  Unfortunately our history at this moment finds a few of these codgers in our government.  They, for the purpose of neutrality, shall not be named in this essay.  But back to the dilemma of action.  Morality is linked, in a direct correlation (as temperatures on earth are linked to the amount of carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere) to mortality.

So.  How do we get people to sacrifice the comforts of living in the present for the future?

I don’t know the answer.

Hmmm.

That river was a nice image.  So were the cows.  Al did forget to mention the cattle industry is contributing greatly to global warming.  Between the gasses and the burning of forests for cattle fields, there’s something to talk about.  Do we need all that meat?  But that is, surely as Al could see, a different tree to bark up.

I liked the solitary moments of memory and youth.  Of innocence and simplicity.

I liked the Powerpoint presentations.  

I like Al Gore.

I guess. My main problem, or issue, or point of cynical overdrive, is I, unlike Al, do not believe that the majority act as a course of conscience.  They act when their lives are affected.  Like the price of gas.  So maybe, with all the greed and impropriety of the gas industry, the men in charge there are, really, doing us a favor.  Maybe what we should be praying is that the price of gas keeps rising and rising until our Nation has no choice but to act.  To maintain the lifestyle to which it has become accustomed.

This thought saddens me.  That I must pray for the demise of my country in order to save it.  It’s like hoping a drug addict friend will hit rock bottom so he / she will change.  So, I say, rather than hope for a turnaround based on morality, let us pray, deeply, to our Bible and Kaballah and Zohar and Talmud and Koran, for our own demise.  

I sit with this.

I go in and tell my partner that we should move to Mexico, live on less, and donate our earnings to our dream of building schools, orphanages and education to decrease global warming.  He’s decided to give ten percent of his income for now.  As soon as I make an income, I’ll give half away.

We can make the schools solar powered.

I feel better already.

I suppose I am, as my friends have called me, a happy cynic.

So let us pray.

by Laura Napier

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