One: Fire

fire, relaxing, burning unwanted deadwood
Relaxing next to the fire.

Having pyromaniac tendencies, I welcome the opportunities to enjoy an evening around our fire pit. Camping, beach parties as well as an occasional backyard bash, all contribute to relaxing moments amid busy schedules.

Fire in the Amazon

fire, destruction, burning our planet's lungs
Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

While watching flames devour unwanted deadwood sooths my soul, flames in the Amazon inspire quite a different reaction. Rather than calming me, passion fans my protective instincts. The “lungs of the earth” require protection. Hence, smoking is bad for them. Instead of solace, feelings of powerlessness feed another fire.

Beyond greed

Perhaps the fire burns so deeply because of my association with the organization of Development and Peace. Background information gives me a heads-up as to why someone set these fires. So little action to prevent them or douse them has the same source. Yet, the foundation for the current situation finds its roots beyond immediate greed.

Changing our worldview

“Our theological tradition has been shaped within the worldview of a static universe… It was assumed that human beings were the center of the universe, that Europe was the center of the world, and that the Earth and its resources were immense and without any obvious limits. By contrast, we are told today that the universe began with a cosmic explosion called the Big Bang, … and that we are intimately linked with the health of the delicately balanced life systems on our planet.” Denis Edwards, Jesus and the Cosmos (Paulist Press: 1991), 3-5. (Richard Rohr, Daily Meditations)

Preventing fire

Shifting our worldview from limitless exploitation to responsible management requires a major effort. We live in a limited world. Presently, on our planet the demand for more palm oil and feed lots increase every day. The lure of economic profit tightens the stranglehold on leaders wishing to remain in power. Small farmers respect the land and its rhythms. They stand against the rich and the powerful. So setting fire to the Amazon is not part of their repertoire.


Possibilities for the future

As a result, Development and Peace offers a webinar to discuss and formulate a better future for the Amazon and for our world. Together, we the small people, can make a difference. Maybe we will not only douse the flames but prevent fire in the first place.


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