By John McConnell
EARTH DAY and PALM SUNDAY will both be on March 20 in this year 2005. This is an amazing coincidence. Earth Day is always on the first day of Spring. Palm Sunday is usually on a different day. But this year they will be on the same day. They both call attention to the beauty and bounty of Nature.
Palm Sunday is a prelude to Easter, which celebrates the Resurrection of Christ. Earth Day (the First Day of Spring) celebrates the annual Resurrection of life in Nature.
We call on all to help make Earth Day (Palm Sunday) a global day of dedication to peace, justice, and the care of Earth. Continue the celebration for seven days -- leading to Easter, which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This will bring new hope and faith for a future of peaceful progress on our planet.
Internet has provided WWW – a World Without Walls. Here is how anyone and everyone can help foster peace with nature and with neighbor -- email this message to people you know.
Together, we can make our planet a World Without War or Poverty, and provide a new beginning for the whole human family.
The following Earth Trustee Agenda can appeal to the most people (people of every creed and culture) and do the most good for people and planet. Also, here is the formula for individuals and institutions that can convert words into actions, tap the best of every religion and ethic, and rapidly replace hate, fear, greed and injustice with altruistic attitudes and actions that will eliminate poverty, pollution, violence -- and war.
We have a remarkable planet and can benefit by taking care of it. The new communication connections of Internet provide new possibilities for peaceful change and a better future.
While the old way of thinking still hinders peace and justice in Jerusalem and other trouble spots, the miracle of the World Wide Web brings new connections among people of good will who are seeking a way to global peace and prosperity. Following is the Earth Trustee Agenda that can best serve this purpose and provide a sustainable future:
EARTH TRUSTEE AGENDA
"Let every individual and institution now think and act as a responsible trustee of Earth, seeking choices in ecology, economics and ethics that will provide a sustainable future, eliminate pollution, poverty and violence, awaken the wonder of life and foster peaceful progress in the human adventure."
To succeed we must combine heart and mind in effective action. If this article moves you emotionally and you know what to do, you will act. Let us first consider the following:
In order to come together in care for our planet we must respect and care about one another. People of all creeds and persuasions find agreement in the three most important words in human history, "Love One Another." They were uttered by Jesus, the man most recognized in history as wise and good. Heartfelt love, faith and prayer is increasing around the world. While great differences exist in creeds and social issues, more and more people are finding common ground. There is growing awareness that we are one human family and must now take charge and take care of our planet. We can and must now come together where we agree -- leaving room for differences on matters where we don't agree.
SPACE AGE WORLD VIEW
"We set out to explore Space and discovered Earth."
Now we know Planet Earth has amazing raw materials (land, water, gold, oil, etc., and organic life). With proper use of our new technologies, with logical economic policies and fair benefits for services, everyone could join in the rejuvenation of Earth. In this New Millennium we can make our planet a Garden of Eden.
There is no excuse for extreme poverty and unearned extreme wealth. New Earth Trustee economic policies can remedy this. There is growing support for a New Millennium Proposal to cancel the massive debts owed by the poorest countries. This should be followed by vigorous efforts to restructure economic institutions (Banks; the Stock Market) and achieve just and efficient production, trade and currency exchange. Internet now provides access to ideas, actions, records and results. Let all institution now report how much their policies and programs accomplish Earth Trustee goals. A growing flood of Earth Trustee solutions will follow.
FACING THE DIFFICULTIES
While it is good to accent the positive and focus on solutions, we also need to honestly face the difficulties. Whether it is the result of sinful nature, childhood neglect or bad genes, humanity today is crippled by hate, fear, greed, sickness, crime and misuse of money and power. Fortunately, many people believe in the Golden Rule and try to be honest. They can support the vision and actions that will bring a positive, global, state of mind. This will better enable efforts and their values to reach the minds and hearts of those engaged in evil acts -- who in truth "know not what they do." Earth Trustee vision and action will replace enmity with harmony.
Actions good or bad begin in the mind. Evil will be overcome -- not just by laws or military might, but by love and faith and vision of a better way.
TWO LEVELS OF REALITY
To achieve Earth Trustee goals it is important to recognize two levels of reality -- the physical and the metaphysical, or spiritual.
People of all creeds and cultures can now agree on physical reality. We agree we have a great planet and can benefit by its nurture.
In the larger question, "What’s life all about?" we are faced with profound mysteries of life and death. Conflicting creeds try to deal with them.
Some of my best friends and I disagree on life after death. I don't believe in reincarnation. When I met with the Dali Lama, I praised him for his strong support of peace and the care of Earth. We agreed that in our differences over reincarnation we each based our beliefs on an hypothesis that could not be scientifically proven. I did not have a videotape of what people were doing in heaven – and he did not have an X-ray of a soul waiting for reincarnation. We must recognize our differences and work together where we agree.
The best of our science and logic provide no answers all can agree on. Our beliefs are based on faith. While we may differ on the nature of God and life after death, we can commend actions that nurture people and planet -- regardless of the person's creed.
The Earth Trustee agenda should not be a stumbling block to people of any creed. Instead, it will guide those who want to help "peace, justice and the care of Earth."
When it comes to the mysteries of life, the human search continues and will not diminish. The explosion of knowledge about the Cosmos is accompanied by scientific study of spiritual healing and psychic phenomena. The more we learn, the greater the mystery! The Astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking, is concentrating on how the Cosmos grows. The results are astounding. However, in a TV program, "The Universe" he stated, "We are finding the answer to 'how.' When we find the answer to Why?, we will have the mind of God."
To continue our quest to understand the great mysteries of life, we must avoid the death of nature and the collapse of civilization -- a real present danger. Let us now convert Earth Kill to Earth Care and make this new millennium an Earth Trustee Millennium.
Earth Day is on the day when Spring begins. It provides a powerful time for people worldwide to celebrate and join in dedication to be responsible Trustees of Earth. On this day, there is a moment that is special to the whole human family -- the March Equinox.
The March Equinox was chosen for Earth Day in 1970 -- the first Earth Day. The idea was not local convenience or comfortable weather, which varies from place to place, but a day suitable for international celebration. On this day, night and day are equal. This day is a million year symbol of the balance of nature and the equilibrium we seek on Earth.
Each year since then the Peace Bell at the United Nations has been rung on Earth Day at the moment Spring begins. This is followed by silent prayer -- a time for heartfelt commitment to think and act as Earth Trustees.
WHAT INDIVIDUALS CAN DO
If you agree in principle with this Earth Trustee way to a sustainable future, then decide you will help make it work.
First, adopt an Earth Trustee attitude. That means an Earth Trustee way of looking at everything. You want your daily choices in work, travel, shopping and other activities to naturally reflect your Earth Trustee values. Individuals will differ over what they give most attention. You may be interested in composting, planting trees, or volunteering for some project that is bringing peace and justice with understanding and action to better your neighborhood.
If you have not already done so, join some group that you feel will assist in accomplishing Earth Trustee goals. Where possible get them to use the name "Earth Trustee" for their efforts. All who seek to further peace, justice and the care of our planet can foster mutual understanding and cooperation by labeling their effort an "Earth Trustee" effort. The Earth Day/Earth Trustee agenda in the Earth Magna Charta can help any worthwhile project. Your church, club, school or business can adopt the Earth Magna Charta and in its own way implement its policies and agenda.
EARTH TRUSTEE INSTITUTIONS
Individual Earth Trustee actions can improve conditions in institutions as they presently exist. Far more will result as we restructure institutions to conform with Earth Trustee policies and purposes. Businesses, banks, churches and temples, clubs, towns and cities, are all invited to help implement the Earth Trustee Agenda. They can adopt the Earth Magna Charta (http://www.earthsite.org) and implement its Earth Trustee ideas in their own way. Every web site can be an Earth Trustee site and do its part to help people and planet.
WORLD WIDE WEB -- Make Earth Day an Internet Earth Day
Precede Earth Day by publishing Earth Trustee solutions on the Internet. On Earth Day join with your friends and family at home, church, school or work to mark this day with attention for the wonder of life and what we can do for people and planet. Let's have bells ring all over the world at the moment of the Equinox, when the UN and other Peace Bells are rung on Earth Day. Explorers in Space will share their inspiring views of our beautiful planet as they join in the celebration. This new Earth Trustee Millennium can be a new beginning of promise and hope.
Spread the word. Now is humanity’s greatest opportunity.
The important thing is to act -- and document honest reports of results.
The man who started Earth Day
and its Earth Trustee way to a better future.
Earth Magna Charta: http://www.earthsite.org
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