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A Small Blue Planet

By Remy Benoit

There is a great deal of talk about many things—economic recovery, troop increases, troop decreases, mortgages gone under, food not on tables, jobs lost, culpability and accountability of former leaders, truth commissions, lives and dreams broken by the greed of others, nuclear arsenals, and a hundred thousand other things.

I listened to Robert Ballard speak last night for a few moments about how more than half of the country is water if we consider the 200 mile offshore "owning" of the oceans. We have not yet even truly begun to explore these regions where there are myriad forms of life and resources as yet unknown to us.

Little concern is given to diminishing drinking water, diminishing forests, food shortages, violent weather.

Are we looking at small pictures, "pork," partisanship, oneupsmanship, when the big canvas is losing its color?

May I bring your attention to this article that reminds us that we and our planet are truly all connected at InnerSelf from Daisaku Ikeda Environmental Compassion.

It has long been my contention that we live too far from nature, and I offer this small suggestion during these tough economic times as we are bludgeoned by ever rising food costs—a new kind of Victory Garden, be it a kitchen garden, a patio garden, or even herbs grown in small pots on your windowsill, on my windsill, in my yard—in yards and windowsills all around the world.

Perhaps getting our hands back into the soil, enjoying the fruits, herbs, and vegetables of our labor, of sharing a bountiful harvest would help rekindle that tie to Mother Nature, to each other.

If you have the proverbial "brown thumb," well then, how about a crock pot with a cup of water added to a cup of flour—a little stirring, a few days settling, (covered please) and you have your own sour dough starter and are not paying almost $3.00 for 3 tablespoons of yeast. It may take a little longer to rise, but the taste is more pungent and you just might get to sit down a bit and write an e-mail to a Senator expressing your views while your bread or coffee cake is rising. Actually, sour dough has a good lesson to teach us—whatever you take out, put back in some way at least as much as what you have taken out to keep things rising.

Perhaps the dollars we save could be shared with those trying so hard to stay alive, to keep their homes. Perhaps you could take the time to do one tiny click a day at The Hunger Site. and give a cup of food a day—just one click enough to keep someone alive.

When was the last time you sat at the shoreline and wondered about how those across the horizon line were doing? Until we all worry about how all are doing we will live with the concomitants of the greed of the few; we will live with war.

Until we all pick up a brush filled with our particular passion and speak up for it, work for it, not stop until we achieve something better for all, we will be subtracting from, rather than adding to, the canvas we call Mother Earth.

Like all else, it is in the choices of each and everyone of us. How we care for our country, how we care for the Veterans we so continually make; how we care for other countries, for the planet all takes its place on the canvas of the planet.

If a child goes to bed hungry anywhere it will have an impact in some way on the child you tucked in tonight.

What do we want to see on that canvas—life and compassion or greed, hate, and war. The choice lives with each and every one of us whether we live in a city, on a mountaintop, in the desert, on the plateau, on an island.

The choice lies with us—bright, vibrant canvas, or the grey death of all of it and all of us.

Please share your ideas, share your "Victory Garden" stories. Your crop yield can be veggies and fruit; your garden may be one of ideas to help; it may be your story that you need to share, but share, talk, listen, and help we must.

Plant a seed today, some kind of seed, for something better and then stay with it until it comes to fruition.

Let the gloom and doomers know that we are not taking delivery on their negativity. We know there is a better way, and we must commit to finding it, watering it, nurturing and growing it for all.
Miz' Remy


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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