Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Flowers and a Lack of Respect

I've been making an effort to reduce my time on the computer, and have succeeded in not using the internet for almost a week. It has been great for my reading, my relationships and my self-esteem, but not so good for making regular blog posts. :)

Two days after the big "day of love", Eric and I hit a local grocery store dumpster and it was full of flowers (what else would it be?). I was very saddened to see these beautiful bouquets, all in fantastic shape, just discarded so easily. There were many dozens of the traditional long-stemmed roses, along with other vivid, colorful varieties of flowers. As I always lament, I wish that our camera was working that day so that we could have taken pictures to post. With or without photos, I think you can get the point that it is such a waste of resources, including the time and energy it takes to grow, harvest and transport the flowers. Flowers can be such a joy, but no one will get to enjoy the tons of  plants that will have been tossed into landfills just because they did not sell in the Valentine's Day sales. What a shame.

The canning of all these flowers is not just an issue of waste. It is a lack of respect for the earth, and for life itself. Each plant has within it the same breath of life that we do, causing it to grow just as we do. We have lost our "sense of awe" in regard to the very existence of life itself in our world.

"Forfeit your sense of awe, let your conceit diminish your ability to revere, and the universe becomes a marketplace for you." - Abraham Joshua Heschel  
Human beings have wrested control of this planet out of the hands of the once-balanced ecosystem and turned it into a marketplace. If there is ever an opportunity to turn a piece of nature into product and profit, we find it. We have manipulated every inch of our world to suit our fantasy economy and fabricated needs.

But not for long. Mother Earth will fight back. When we have taken all that we can take, we will be forced to change our way of life. Nature will just move on without us. Someday, humanity will lose.

In the meantime, I took as many of those flowers as I could and redistributed them. For free, of course.

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