June 24, 2020

I know that when I die, the cause of my death will be “a broken heart.”  It may say on the death certificate, “heart attack,” or “stroke,” or “hypertension.”  But the main cause of death will  truly be a broken heart because of the horrendous crimes, knowingly and unknowingly, that we humans have committed against nature, other animals, and the planet Earth itself.  It led to destruction of so many precious pieces of what was worthwhile on the planet Earth.

It’s no surprise.  We were warned over and over by some knowing humans with the gifts of foresight, compassion, and the need to try to stop us from being mass destroyers.  And we were warned in numerous ways by obvious changes in and to the planet wrought by humans.

Humans were  the worst species to allow on the earth.  Human animals were both like, and unlike, other animals.  But we humans somehow considered ourselves above the “other” animals.  We even created a god that told us we were superior to the other animals.  And to the laws of mother nature as well.

The tragedy unfolded over centuries.  Plagues came upon humans.  Weather wreaked havoc in many ways–storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, too hot, too cold.  Many humans died along the way, but the population of humans eventually overwhelmed what the planet Earth could bear even while medical doctors, scientists, and researchers continued to seek cures for everything that ailed the humans.

Why?  Because there was one part of nature that humans could not accept —  mortality.  So, life expectancy grew artificially longer and longer – far beyond what the body was meant to live — and the planet to sustain.  Even pandemics couldn’t stop it.   At the same time, thousands of other species were carelessly killed off.

The human species is hard to describe — arrogance is the largest part of it.  Plus a rather large brain that could take on new challenges aided by cleverly devised technology.  But more emotional than practical.  Way too many levels and varieties of emotions that were hard to understand, and which often took control.

But the biggest downfall of the big brain human species was something they couldn’t even take with them after death — money.   Greed, and the need for MORE of everything motivated them beyond all sense.  Modern life became a disastrous, everlasting contest between the haves and those trying to have.

In the new 2020 movie, Planet of the Humans by long time environmentalist Michael Moore,  there is a heart and gut wrenching scene of a mother and baby orangutan caught by hell wrought by humans–their environment being destroyed in exchange for money.  Because ALL animals do have emotions if you look closely, the mother is clearly giving up and dying.  The baby grasps the hand of the human destroyer with a total look of bewilderment and despair.

 

I’m not particularly fond of, or adept at, multi-tasking. But since I live alone, it seemed like a timesaver to eat in front of the tv watching the news. Lately, I’ve been pondering how dangerous this may be to my mental and physical health. Every mouthful, especially since my overweight and blood pressure require me to carefully monitor what I eat, should be a pleasure. The daily news, with serious-faced commentators and gut-wrenching pictures of all that’s gone wrong in a day, is not conducive to a quiet stomach or mind.
Learning about the mind-body connection has been an important topic in my senior years. Yoga and meditation have become important parts of my week. I do believe that the body reacts to what the mind is thinking about.
Several years ago, health guru Dr. Andrew Weil recommended weaning oneself off of daily news because it was just too stressful. Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore passionately explained the many ways media maintains a constant state of fear within us. I’ve certainly noticed that not only the news, but the barrage of commercials screaming at us in between the bad news of the day, can themselves cause indigestion. In our retirement community, we are particularly targeted for needing caretakers, reminded that our hearts and other body parts are failing and require all sorts of medication, and warned that we will, in spite of our ailments, outlive our retirement money.
In the years when I was a social worker in foster care, welfare, battered women, and abused children, I entered sadness every day. I felt burdened with trying to make it all better. In such an atmosphere, the world seemed a darker, frightening place. I sometimes forgot that there was still lightness and joy in life.
I first went to China in 1988. At that time, there was a newspaper in English that was unlike every other newspaper I’d ever read. Only good news was allowed into print. Pollyanna was the reporter and editor. It lacked solid news of the world, but one couldn’t feel depressed reading it. It encased me in the little cozy world it created, floating above the uglier unprinted news of China.
For large chunks of my traveling life, I was in places that didn’t offer news in English. Did I really suffer from not hearing the heartbreaks of the day? When I lived in China and Macau, I relied on shortwave radio broadcasts, usually from BBC, to keep me both informed and entertained. On my visit to Asia this March and April, I didn’t hear or read much of the world’s news because I don’t have a laptop to carry around with me. Although I sometimes found myself wondering what was going on in the big wide world, I found it refreshing to be relieved of worrying daily about events I could do nothing about.
There must be a balance somewhere between being intelligently informed and being overwhelmed by murder and mayhem, death and destruction. I need to start looking for that in between place. Perhaps I can start by listening to beautiful music while eating outside on my patio. The bad news won’t disappear, but at least it won’t add stress to my meals.

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