Frog peeking out from behind the leaves/DepositPhoto

Why won’t we learn from the frogs?

By Christi Ortiz

It seems that although frogs will jump out of a pot before the water reaches lethal levels, humans don’t seem to mind the rising temperature….they might even continue to turn up the heat. The danger doesn’t seem immanent, the destruction of other species and habitats doesn’t seem to shake us to the core, or lead us to question our lack of self regulation. The warning signs don’t seem to phase us.  

Many other species find a way to co-evolve in harmonious processes and symbiotic relationships to create a balanced, thriving ecosystem. They keep each other in balance. But humans have not seemed to find a way to live in harmony with other species and the earth itself. We have lost sight that we are a part of a greater whole.

Massive amounts of scientific evidence hasn’t been enough to make us want to change our ways.  The industrial engine too massive, too essential to reconfigure. There’s no stopping our own self-imposed extinction they say…We’re already in too deep, it’s too late to turn down the heat, the damage has already been done.  So what are we to do? There’s no getting out, is it too late to evolve?

Humans have found a way to ingeniously overcome our limitations and thrive, why can’t we put that ingenuity to work to heal our earth, to cure the cancer we have become? Why haven’t our tremendous technologies been targeted towards our biggest threat yet? Doesn’t it seem ridiculous to be suffocated by our own toxic byproduct? Why can’t we transform to live more harmoniously, ethically, consciously? But the truth is, I just keep going with the flow, it seems too hard to change. Every day I contribute to the collective problem. It feels impossible to change our way of life now.  I’ve got too many other things to worry about.

But this minor virus is just a sprinkle compared to the raging forecast yet to come. If we can’t seem to keep ourselves in check, nature will. That’s just the balance of life. At some point the party always comes to an end. And the hangover and bloating never make the gorging worth it. The worst part is it won’t be us crying, “Why did we do this?”…but our children. We do not seem to see that the delicate balance of plant and animal life is just as fragile as our bodies. And the repercussions are a tidal wave too large to quarantine. This virus shows us we can drastically and rapidly change our way of life if the threat seems evident enough, or deadly enough. But what happens when its immanence is much too devastating to survive. What happens when we have no quarantine?                                                         

Will we groggily begin to awaken to see the whole was always greater than the sum of the parts? Will we begin to see the futility of selfishness or greed and realize we were stealing from ourselves? Cutting and killing off essential pieces that kept the whole balanced and alive?

Will we one day wake up to see that it was not some far distant ice cap melting away out of sight, but our very own feet swept out from under us? It was not some expansive rain forest that we thought would never really be swallowed up only to find it was our very own lungs slowly aspirating? Will we regret that we didn’t replenish the endless supply of water and oil that was really our very own arteries running dry, with nothing left to pump? Will the organs start to look around and realize they never needed to compete but rather were vital to each other? Will the body begin to realize it was not a mild fever but rather a sign of deadly illness needing attention and intervention to either halt or cure or face the inevitable….What will we look back and regret? What will we wish we would have done? It certainly won’t be that we had bought more toilet paper. This disease is far too great to wipe away. A single hand washing doesn’t seem to make a difference, a few unmetered coughing bodies spouting virus laden sputum, doesn’t seem to be enough to spread around the globe? Do my minuscule intentions to live more clean, to go green, really have an impact? But what happens if those minor, individual actions combine into a concerted effort that flattens the curve just long enough for us to discover effective treatments and maybe even a cure? Or is this bath way too comfortable? Maybe it’s just easier to relax and take a nap.

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