One of the more impressive protests over the past years was done by the indigenous people at Standing Rock to protest the Dakota Access Pipeline. These brave people stood against government and corporate power to oppose the wanton raping of planet Earth. They spoke for all who are concerned about the fate of our planet. All too often, people take from the earth without giving back to the earth. This is risky business. I am 74 years of age; my life will be drawing to a close before the final effects of our pillaging come to fruition. But my 15-year-old grandson will suffer. Do we realize that the ozone hole over Antarctica is over 9 million square miles? That, my friends, is huge. We are not taking care of our home; you know, the one God entrusted us with. All good things come from God; and She is a most compassionate and caring God. She is also very patient with us. When things finally begin to fall apart on Earth, men will pray to God to be more compassionate, which is impossible, when we consider that God is all compassionate now.

We are the stars in the night sky; all of eternity is watching us. Our message is being read by every village in the world, by every city and nation; what is that message, one that we don’t care about future generations.

If my understanding of science is correct, we are in the 15 millionth millennium of the universe, the 4.5 millionth millennium of earth, the 4 millionth millennium of life on earth, the 2600th millennium of humans, and finally, the 4th millennium of written history. Is our written history doomed due to our incompetence?

Jesus says, “Only one thing is necessary; if you are present, you will be able to know what you need to know.” Are we present. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve committed the original sin by betraying God; we are ignoring God. Whose crime is greater?

As a part of Mankind, we are one; we are one man, one earth, one universe. Our betrayal of the greatest gift, life, will condemn us for the remainder of man’s time on Earth.

If we are one man, one earth, one universe, there are ways that we can and should react. One is storytelling. We are a storytelling creation. If we are in fact the latest in a 2600 millennial line of development, then we must continue by telling stories. If the written word is only 4000 years old, then we must realize that any history prior to that time was passed through the spoken word. After all, the written Bible is only about 2600 years old, although others think it may be slightly older.

We have to tell our children and grandchildren the stories of the past. My father was born in 1890; he did not share much of his life with my sister and I. However, since he died, I have read his letters to his parents, while he was in college and while serving in the United States Cavalry. I also have several pictures of him and his brothers growing up in northwestern Connecticut. From these I am able to construct a story of what life was like before radios and cars, and even cell phones.

I look back to these times and say that life was tougher, but easier. Tougher, because I cannot imagine myself having to walk wherever I go. Living in the Fredericksburg area, I find it necessary to drive everywhere because the distances are too great for my 74-year-old body to navigate on a daily basis. Easier, because in the 1890s, we lacked the distractions that modern life offers us. As much as I love reading, and I teach English, I sometimes find it difficult to deny my addiction to the TV set and sit down to read.

When I was in grammar school in East Orange, New Jersey, I read all the time. In my 4th-grade year, I read every biography that was available in Columbian Grammar School. Guess what? We did not have a TV.

I love my radio, my television, my cellphone, and my SUV. But I also love the fact that I can tell stories, and I do. I have been chided by those around me to use lean of speech. Do I talk too much? Yes, but then again, I am a college professor and that is my job, at times. I talk for a living, and I encourage my students to talk. But they don’t; their noses are buried in their cellphones.

As a part of Mankind, we are one; we are one man, one earth, one universe. Let’s act like it.



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