Saturday, August 28, 2010

Five Years

It's been five years since Katrina. As I thought of that this morning, a song by one of my very favorite artists of all time, David Bowie, came into my mind. It's a song he wrote based on a dream he had. It's called "Five Years" and it's about the end of the world:

Five Years

David Bowie is about 15 years older than I, yet we are both considered Baby Boomers, although some scholars say that people my age are really in a seperate, distinct generation, sometimes called "Generation Jones", but I and most people who are obsessed with such matters put all of us into the Baby Boom generation, calling us younger set the "Late Boomers". Anyway, from the first Boomers like Bowie, all the way through the "Late Boomers" like me, our generation grew up in the shadow of the cold war, and I think most of us always felt in the back of our minds like the world could end at any moment. The following political ad sums up the psyche of my generation, particularly of us younger ones who were the exact age of this child when the ad aired in 1964:

daisy ad

I still feel that the world could end at any time, although images of mushroom clouds have given way to images of polar bears clinging to small fragments of melting ice surrounded by water.

Katrina was the end of the world for those who perished. For the survivors, it wasn't the end, but it changed their world. And for those of us looking on from a safe distance, what have we learned? People are still denying that human-induced climate change is real, the Army Corps of Engineers apparently has still not fixed all the things wrong with the levy system and that ill-conceived MRGO canal to prevent another Katrina from devastating New Orleans again, and we all just basically are going along in denial, be it about the microcosm that is New Orleans, or the macrocosm that is our one and only precious planet earth.

If we don't wake up and wise up, if our spiritual evolution doesn't somehow catch up to our technological evolution, then we will remain like a two-year old who has stumbled upon daddy's loaded gun. We have all the things we think empower us, like nuclear bombs, oil rigs, dams and canals, cars, and all sorts of things that make our lives easier and give us the all-important, aforementioned POWER, or so we think. However, there is no real power in working against nature. That "power" is illusory.

The real power in this world comes from understanding our place in nature, that we are a part of it, not apart from it, and that we must respect it, not violate it. When we finally--if we finally and in time--learn to treat nature with respect and live in harmony with it versus trying to dominate it, then future generations won't write songs about the world ending.

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