“Satellite picture” of planet earth

By Isis Win

Forgive me if you believed you would find a photo from any of the earth’s orbiting satellites. I meant to say, not a bird’s-eye view but farther than that. A quick glance of our planet and all in it. And for the sake of considering that we must commit to two things in life: First to enjoy to its fullest what we have and make the best out of it. Anyone older than 40-year-old can testify that regardless of how tough and complex life was for them before that age, when looking back, everything improved, for most part. Second, whether it is timely or not, we all must do everything within reach to aid our planet that is suffering from neglect and abuse for centuries, especially post the Industrial Era.

About the first one, I enjoy repeating what my dad told me when I was a young 20-year-old. “Reach for full happiness, fulfillment and nurturing because it takes as much effort than not to.” That day changed my entire life forever. Before that day, I had the notion that reaching for the stars was some form of “greed”. After that, although there might be very few possible dreams that cannot be achieved, most are possible. However, depending on what, the odds might be really large and bad. But it is possible to reach almost the impossible and for as long as we invest into that reaching our goal. Take for instance, people who were told that they will never walk, and not only did they, but as well many became achievers in sports. Hopefully, you’ve not been overwhelmed by cynicism resulted by the latest US and world issues, therefore stop reading me.
In regards of the second one, if we remove our selves from the self-centered ego, we may admit that we are a guest in this life and planet. Therefore, we must pay our utmost respect and gratitude towards it. Something that doesn’t happen in the large-scale.
Just take that orbital view for a second.

The actual status of our world, societies, cultures, etc, perhaps is not any different from our old past. It is a fact that although our current knowledge in some fields, sciences, technologies, etc, is uncanny, we are learning many folds more as we go and learn that what we once believed is not quite so. An irony, considering that our modern history presents an incredible growth, progress, etc, in just one millennia. But it is a fact that we almost are like the early men of the tribal times. People still kill people whether there is a reason or not. Consider the amount of people dying from the hand of men: although it is a little less than the previous century, we still kill millions of people every year.
Societies in many cultures as well are cluttered with serious men creating problems that negatively affect their people, society and future, such as some of the obsolete Middle East cultures that still are a century ago times with their obsolete customs. Customs that deny personal freedom, growth and choices in life. Not to mention the adverse treatment of women and children in so many societies. Many African countries are on this same boat. Even in Latin-America we can find governments that do a great job keeping their people fully repressed and contained, for the sake of political, military and corporate greed. I suppose you get that picture. One scary problem is the extensive abuse towards children and women across the world, including the US.  At this stage in our progress?
How about the lack of consideration towards our natural resources and land? This is another clear case of severe abuse and one day we may find out that the price is one that was totally unsuspected, such as the possible result of draining the water tables or the fossil oil deposits, deforesting humongous tracts of land and of course, polluting our planet with all sorts of waste.
Perhaps the worse of all problems among us people, is the fact that consciousness for the most part is not even close to what it should be. I don’t mean to blame anyone for anything, but if we look at the fact, for instance, that in 1973 we faced a petrol crisis that made evident: this is a matter of national security and our car makers and the largest number of buyers, still propagated gas guzzlers called SUV’s. Not to mention that an average of 80% of the private vehicles in the world circulate just with the driver. And let me mention that many of those rides are just a few blocks away and that errand could wait or be pooled with many errands in the same area. How about consumption of electric power? Most developed countries are simply coping with a borderline demand/supply. Here in the US, a very bad cold or hot season can very easily cripple our power supply and it can take weeks to repair it. In case you have not noticed, many summers and winters, the supply of electric power has been accomplished thanks to lowering the total output in the power stations and lines, otherwise, many users would have lost power. As important as not having the readiness to prevent serious trouble (Smart grid), our industries keep coming up with more and more electrical devices that become a “need” at most consumer homes.  
And did you say water? In many states, the water supply is dwindling really fast and badly. As well, lets take in consideration places like Phoenix that according to scientists, are sinking every year because their water table, right under the city, is becoming empty and leaving a cavity almost as large as the city. Los Angeles and San Diego are approaching a pretty bad situation too. The diversion of the Colorado river is becoming more complex, besides the fact that it has environmentally affected many realms and it is clear, southern California will need to resort to something else, really fast. They are considering desalinization of the Pacific waters, which is extremely expensive, and environmentally toxic since it consumes huge amounts of power. As well, look at our trees and the consumption of their byproducts. They are perhaps one of the most taken for granted gifts from nature and we are literally exterminating the greens from tropical and rainforest lands. Not to mention the shrinking farming land and for the sake of never-ending newer housing projects.
We must, as well, include the tremendous effects of several corporations that have no regard for anything but making capital: Mining, oil, energy, housing, even farms that abuse the capacity of the ground they use for their crops. The list can be very long.

Can we say part of those corporations is the organized crime in the world? Whatever we call it, it is a fact that those organizations are hundreds more folds damaging that the old mafia in the US and Europe. La Cosa Nostra simply looks like a joke compared to what exist today in every nation of the world. According to the reported numbers around the world, drug trafficking dollars are the largest money-maker in the world through history. And the production of firearms and its easy availability as well is a serious problem around the globe, primarily in the US.

Our presence in the planet has not improved accordingly to our growth. We are lacking and getting behind in social and natural issues and the ridiculous part of it is that only a few people take in consideration that every single person in the planet takes away some of those precious resources. Sadly, the majority settle for believing their presence is not affecting anything negatively.

Although scientist can’t concur about the reasons for what we’ve witnessing in our planet in the recent years, all of them agree on one item: Our planet is going through a very serious and complex change and the truth is that not even they can predict the outcome in the up coming decade. While some insist global warming is the result of human intervention, others say that what we are witnessing is another stage of our planet. But all agree with the fact that the emissions of air pollutants are rapidly increasing global warming. Regardless of what the reason might be, the imperative fact is that we don’t know for sure for how long we will survive on this planet at this rate. Several science fields support the idea that several natural factors may or will create famine across the world. Many of them insist that we are still in time to prevent making things much worse and but as well, that we need to act pro-actively NOW with measures that counteract many of those problems. The US, China, Russia among other countries simply consume as much as is supplied and their needs increase in alarming numbers. And what about our population growth? We grow like if we have places to go, food to produce and all resources are unlimited. But we fail to look into the big picture such as making sure all sorts of food can be supplied reliably, something that as well is fading because humongous extensions of land simply are drying and becoming sterile. As well, new diseases, suspected to be the result of global warming, are destroying the habitat of many species that in their turn sustain many others. And we can’t ignore the recent diseases such bird flu, among many others that at some point can get out of control and still we have no mechanisms to prevent it nor that will insure everyone surviving them.

I know this sounds like a science fiction negative review but we can’t ignore the facts that are right in front of our eyes. The point here is, that we all must actively get involved in making adjustments to decelerate this toxic process and believe it or not, all small measures add up to a point that it can make a drastic difference. A difference of life or death. Take for instance Brazil that moved from a 80% dependency from fossil fuels to less than 20%. If the Middle Eastern oil producers decide to sabotage the world, what can we do? But Brazil has taken measures to prevent this disaster. Brazil no long ago was a poor, underdeveloped country and today is moving along with the industrialized nations of the world. Today, it is one of the fastest growing economies.

Life is busy, loaded with tons of responsibilities and obligations, and at times it really is hard to cope with them. Then all we care is about resting or playing as hard, but allocating some of that time in our lifestyles to making sure at least every single individual takes care of her or his own, can make that difference that we desperately need, unless, we opt for ignoring the facts and assume that since we can only live around one hundred years, we are not going to suffer any of those cataclysms. In other words, we have the option to remain unconscious, irresponsible, self-centered and ignore that life is much more that our own selves. Not a very good option because at some point, we all will face our shortcomings and failures. It is much better doing it now than later.

As important as all of above, we must dedicate time to inventory our state of mind and happiness to adjust accordingly and always making sure we live well, happily and fulfilled.
I know it takes work and consistency to live well and achieve a state of mind in life that is fully harmonious, loving, satisfying and nurturing. For our selves and as well for others. That is something that most of us aim for anyway! At least during our first twenty or so years of life.

The demands in life are usually large, come in a lump sums and as will require the highest immediacy. Therefore it is not rare that we suffer, struggle and become frustrated. Forgetting that one of the most important elements in life is to find fulfillment while we accomplish our responsibilities and duties, is a luxury that no one can afford. However, it is not rare to see that people drift with those daily demands and forget about the search for fulfillment. This is a tendency that we must keep in check often. If we feel right and find enlightenment in life and through life, the world we live in will be enhanced the very same way. That is the most effective way to cope and deal with hard feelings, rejection, frustration, anxiety, etc. In fact, it is well-known that the contrary may lead  to illness of all kinds. Because that, we must do as much as we need to make sure we remain in that path of enlightenment as we deal with the rest of mundane life.

The reason for abuse of alcohol, drugs, sex, power, etc, is nothing else but lack of fulfillment in life. And abuse of all that leads to abuse towards people, world, situations, etc, creating a miserable world around us. That can easily become a vicious circle an it will be even more difficult to pull out of it. The other option, one that a few take, is to numb our self and keep going and going. However, if we numb our minds, hearts and soul, we lose perspective and aim. And that is a much more difficult path to endure.

At the end of the year many people tend to make resolutions that ultimately will lead to the state of mind I mention here, but it is to easy to lose track of it and as well, we can’t become obsessive about it because all we do is aim towards frustration. And in the very same way that we do that, we will do so much good taking care of our loaned planet. We will personally benefit from the same. I am sure no one can argue the fact that when we are surrounded by good and happy people, we are happy people too. So, before leaving home to work, school, find a job, etc, we must make sure we are in the highest of all spirits and we must make sure we come across that way.

Again, I hope life has not treated you so badly that you became a cynic, but even if so, you can change that. All it takes is to have the right disposition, to keep working at it and although it may take some time, you will see the results. Once there, it will be easy sailing through the waters of life and you will make room for others that seek for the very same. Just remember, we can lose everything we gained in life except who we are – as we are. That is the resource we need – when things get bad – and like a magic act, we realize that actually, although it was pretty bad, what we found is many folds much better. But keep in mind, that is not something that others or life owe to us. That is something that we earn with lots of work but it is always perfectly doable and reliable. And it takes de same amount of effort than not to!


One response to ““Satellite picture” of planet earth

  1. Hello, Isis! Wonderful post, that really hits home. I hope you don’t mind if I take the liberty of sharing a bit of my own process as related to this topic.
    When I used a car, it was easy to make unnecessary excursions, purchases, decisions of many kinds, on the spur of the moment. I could take all kinds of “stuff” with me. I could spend more time doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, just for my self. Now, on a bike, I am much more mindful and planful of my time, my load, even my weekly menu, since my groceries must be within the capacity of my bike, my legs, and my lungs.
    In some ways, it is a sacrifice. I give up a certain amount of self-centered action. However, I have the knowledge that I am reducing my footprint on the planet. Maybe more importantly, the mindfulness I must have is manifesting as a certain self-discipline I did not practice before. I think that gives me a bit more self-respect. Nothing wrong with that, I’m sure!!!
    I seem to remember something about Zen, about going through life as if you had to cross from one side of a room floored with rice paper to the other, leaving no tears, no holes, no sign of your crossing. What an image!!!
    We all can make mindful choices about different aspects of our lives, to treat ourselves, and the planet, with more dignity and respect as we make our way from one side of life to another.

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