Peace is active, not passive. You can’t sit back and wait for peace to come to you. You must work for it. You must shake off your apathy and demand it. This is not always easy in a culture of war, such as we have in the U.S., but it is necessary.
It is clear that war makes great demands on its participants. We need to think of peace in the same way. Peace is not the absence of war or the space between wars; it is a goal to be achieved by actively demanding that the world’s governments find nonviolent means of settling disputes.
— The Sun Magazine “Indefensible,” David Krieger, interviewed by Leslee Goodman, January 2013 ::: reprinted in the “One Nation, Indivisible” section July 2018
For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.
— The Sun Magazine, Jacques Cousteau, Sunbeams section, July 2018
Yes, we have to take from the natural world , whether it’s trees for houses or animals and plants for food and clothing. But there’s a limit. We can’t just exploit the whole planet for short-term gain.
Think of any big city. Now imagine you put a dome over it. Don’t let anything out or in. How long could it last? Where will the oxygen come from to replenish what’s being consumed? Where will the water come from? Where will the emissions from all the cars go? Where will the food come from?
The planet is a contained system like that domed city. In just a short timewe’ve managed to change the chemistry of the atmosphere, increasing the amount of carbon dioxide and methane and nitrous oxide. The ocean has been a great buffer againstthe excess CO2 we’ve generated, but when carbon dioxide is absorbed by the ocean, it turns into carbonic acid. As a result, the ocean is becoming measurably more acidic. This is not good news. All the life in the ocean — from microbes and phytoplankton to fish and whales — is like an orchestra playing away. It’s taken 4.5 billion years to get this orchestra to play ion harmony, and here we come along and consciously disrupt it. What are we thinking? Why would we do such a thing?
— The Sun Magazine (article direct link), “Sunken Treasure: Sylvia Earle on Why We Need to Protect the Oceans,” interviewed by Michael Shapiro, July 2018. Sylvia Earle (b. 1938) is an eminent oceanographer and marine biologist. See the article intro for details of her biography and C.V.
“The man who knows when he has enough is rich beyond measure,” — Lao Tzu
Whatever mind does, the practicing of stillness, silence, and deep breathing, like in meditation, has a powerful salutary effect.