By Reverend Donna Schaper, Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church.
I will join the March for a Clean Energy Revolution because I want to see a great energy transformation in my time. My definition of great is simple: it is something that adds energy to the soul, the person, and the environment, simultaneously. It is not something that subtracts energy. My definition of transformation is equally simple: it is a shift. We know we are in deep shifts! These can go two ways: either end the human domination of the larger life cycle of the cosmos or begin a great time in which humans relate ourselves to the cosmos.
It is so odd how often people like me become “anthropomorphic.” That is a big word meaning we place ourselves at the center of the circle and look out from there. We see everything in the “anthro,” meaning human, and “morphic,” meaning shape. We see things in the human shape. Our time limit of a potential 90 or so years on the planet nearly suffocates us and controls our point of view, and we often lose sight of how to live outside of it.
We know that there may be nearly 9 million other species on the earth but somehow we are often most interested in ourselves. Civilization, as we humans know it, may have been around for about ten thousand years, but that doesn’t mean we think of ourselves as a small ring in the great tree of life. We think of ourselves, our times and our religious expressions, as much larger than they actually are.
Here in the New York area watershed, the Gunks Mountains, the Hudson River, the Catskill Mountains, and the Atlantic Ocean surround us. We climb the Gunks, we kayak and sometimes swim on the Hudson, we vacation on the Catskill, and we travel on the ocean. We forget that each of these entities has its own identity, regardless of whether or not we notice it. They were all rocking and rolling before we arrived and will do so after we are gone. The Catskill give water to the millions of us who live in New York City. We could not live long without them. I grew up on the Ashokan reservoir. I know its rhythms and pulses. The Ashokan lives for itself as well as for New York City.
Many argue that the environment will improve when we begin to see it for what it is. It is a part of us. It is not there FOR us. It is there with us. Ecological thinking is replacing environmental thinking. In the latter, we protect the environment for us. In the former we protect the environment because we are a part of it. I will march because I am part of the earth and its peoples.