How my contribution killed the family

After you die

(3 min 30 seconds to read)

I park the car in the lot and get out. Almost forgot, I reach back and grab the large bag that’s stuffed to the stretching point, but it’s light as air and it swings in my arm easily as I walk.

I enter the grocery store and there it is. My friend had been right. There was a large bin marked “Recycle plastic bags”. I put my collection of plastic into the bin. Plastic bags didn’t get recycled by my city’s recycling program, so I had to find this alternative.

I use plastic every day, but I recycle, so I thought it was ok. But recycling costs something more than money: It costs energy. The recycling process needs electricity to run, so we burn coal to not hurt the environment so much. In the end, is the environment better off? I don’t know.

Do I need to use so much plastic? No. But it would require some effort to find food that didn’t come packaged in plastic. And I could do it. We all could. Otherwise, we’re creating a plastic world. Plastic is in our waterways and our oceans. And it’s being found in fish…  after it blocks up their intestines or chokes them.

We can probably exist with less ocean and fresh water. When drinking water becomes limited, we would ration it, and we could live.  We could suffer along with an ecosystem whose water cycle is choked by contamination and overwhelmed by islands of algae feeding  off our waste water. We would survive, but not by today’s consumption levels. The current population won’t survive with a water cycle being overwhelmed by our use.

Imagine a future where we’ve created gigantic water ships to clean our planet’s water…after our environment becomes so polluted that it cannot be ignored. The ships are constructed like whales, wide-mouthed to scoop up the tons of floating plastic debris. And inside these large machines the plastic will be processed, boxed into plastic packages to be melted down and recycled when they return.

Our technology might save our children. Or maybe they won’t need saved. Maybe our technology will save our grandchildren, or their children. Maybe it will keep our Earth clean and habitable. The beautiful heaven we’ve forgotten about.

Or else our technology will find the energy source, create the outer space habitats, and transport us to a new residence, away from our natural home. Maybe on Mars or some giant rotating space station. If we can grow an Earth habitat in these places it will be wondrous. And if not, we can live in cells, stark and sterile, but we will at least be surviving, and better than dying on this planet. The rich people might be privileged to have their cells decorated by fake plastic plants, colored green as a reminder of our original home.

Either way, we will adapt. Because that is what we do.

Until then, I continue to collect my plastic and take it to be recycled. Why? Because it’s the least I can do. Or I could get more science education, or lead others who already have it, and try to develop the tech that will make more sustainable consumption, with easy energy from the sun, or giant water ships that eat plastic.

All our contributions kill the family. Our contributions of plastic, thrown away daily to accumulate somewhere. The piles of it grow and grow, day after day, to be received by our future family: The unseen family, because humanity will survive, however small and in whatever sad conditions.

And if I do nothing, then I’m not being accountable as a member of our society, as an individual of the world. A world that is heaven on earth, missed right before our eyes, until  it is truly missed, because it is gone.

Follow me and I will take you away from the everyday.

Please feel free to pass this along if you think others would enjoy it.


Why avoiding heaven should be at the top of your 2013 to-do list


Heaven is perfect. Everything to be understood is already understood. Any choices we make don’t change our happiness. We’re perfect. We have nothing to strive for. There is nothing more to know. A constant state stretching into infinity.

Heaven, perhaps not coincidentally, sounds like death.

Your actions are insignificant since everything will turn out as it should. During death, you become disordered into the system. But in heaven, everything is ordered. And since there is no disorder to shy from, the order is meaningless. And if there are any changes in heaven, they become meaningless, too.

This is why we must make choices with positive or negative consequences.

To have significance, our existence must include taking risks. There must be a negative outcome to suffer, so that there is a positive state for us to value. We must have a little suffering, a little wanting, a little desire, to make life worth living, actions worth taking, love worth making, and friendships worth building, because…

No desire means no love

The argument for a heavenly state is that we need to be content…we need to have gratitude with what IS before looking to what more can be. Desire leads only to more desire, unless checked by gratitude. Gratitude gives us peace. It keeps us grounded. It allows acceptance of what is, so our identity does not become wrapped up in what we do. Our selves always come before our job, or home, or looks, or our friends. If those things are stripped away, our gratitude for our humanity, for just having the dumb luck to be born, to exist, this profound truth will sustain us.

Gratitude allows us to value life. And valuing life itself gives us the reasoning for how we will use this life. Why we do something is as important as what we do.

But a heavenly gratitude without the passion to act is a divine lobotomy, stretching timelessly into oblivion

Human nature ties us all together. After we recognize that we all grow angry, fearful, happy, anxious, peaceful, lustful, needy… then we…then we can decide how to act. Will I be driven by my insecurity? Or by purpose and confidence and love?

As much as our natures are alike, our behavior differentiates us. Yes, we are all special, but only because of our behavior.

Our behavior makes us who we are

Our behaviors are based on our decisions, and we decide based on costs. Costs of how much we want to suffer, how much we want to risk losing something for what we love…Do we shoot for the love…or not?

Heaven is perfect. But that just isn’t good enough

So, don’t lose that desire. Carry heaven in your mind, but realize there’s more to you than the passive contentment behind those pearly gates.

To a new year of risk. To days that end with a resounding “hell yes!” or with a little fear because you don’t know what’s going to happen. And ultimately…doing what you love.

Cheers to 2013, friends.