Cowichan Valley – At Brentwood College this afternoon, I sat and watched the people gathering and waiting, for almost an hour, in a softly falling mist, waiting to be admitted to the hall where they would hear Stephen Harper speak. Hundreds of them, nicely in line, nicely dressed, nicely behaved.
All these many people, nicely willing, but perhaps naively, to pretend, or perhaps to hope, that the ills of our lives on Earth were addressed best by principles of business: profits, prosperity, stability, security. It all would seem so nice, to have it continue in that way: so clean, decent, and civil. Such a pleasant faÃ§ade.
I wouldn’t suppose that many of the gathered faithful there were thinking about less pleasant conditions created by businesses and industries that support their nicely cocooned middle class wealth.
But, I do suppose that far from their thoughts, as they waited for their leader to preach the gospel of continuing profits, prosperity, stability and security, were the toxic wastes destroying the living watersheds of Northern Alberta and threatening pristine mountain valleys, the Pacific coast and ocean waters. Nor, I suppose, were they thinking of collapsing glaciers and polar ice sheets, the scores of living creatures extinct each month, our dying oceans, our dying forests; and so: humanity on a brink of devastation, possibly extinction, along with myriad other creatures of the delicate natural balances upon which depends our living, destroyed by our avarice, our ascendant wit, and our abysmal lack of wisdom.
To those gathered faithful, amidst the grand design of accumulated wealth of Brentwood, amidst their manufactured culture of endless growth and consumption, perhaps it never occurred, that their effort towards their material salvation, in fact, would be the cause of the demise impending upon us all.
When humanity thus by its own hand has been silenced, it will not matter, for there will be no one left to care. O, but what a sadness now, as we might feel, for all that thus is to be lost.
How best can we help one another?
John Mowat Steven