Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Sh**ting in the Mess Kit

My husband and I were thrilled to have purchased our first home together—a modest ranch style in the suburbs. Coming from apartments, we didn’t wonder why there was a line of gravel separating our front yard from the neighbors’ lovely lawn. We were delighted to find the neighbors were wonderful, generous people. They explained that they had originally tended a tidy low hedge along their side of the lot line. But the previous owner of our house didn’t like hedges. He insisted it be removed. When it wasn’t, he went out one night and poured fuel oil on the soil beside it. Thereafter, nothing would grow—but spite, presumably. He wanted his way.

During the range wars in this country, greedy landowners were foolish enough to poison a rival’s well. What happened if they eventually won control of that land? What do you do with land without water? Neighbors in our valley have the same problem. They sold drilling rights to energy companies who were fracking for gas, and now everyone in our valley has to purchase water elsewhere. Our water is tainted with methane and other chemicals, when we have any water at all. Farther east, the farms and cities pump from the last great aquifer. Once the aquifer is gone and our streams are contaminated, how do we manufacture water? New water wars may be inevitable.

Mad hunger for profit and power drives many of the powerful to despoil the planet. Eliminating our attempts to counter devastating climate change is worth the cost to them. When clean water and food become scarce (as eventually they must), selfish billionaires assume they’ll have the means to purchase whatever is available. They can’t imagine a time when the supplies are depleted so much that their fortunes won’t separate them from the suffering masses. As for the low-lying lands that will be flooded…well, the rich can afford to live elsewhere. And just think what profits they’ll be able to amass when they have a monopoly on the essentials of life! The munitions they’ll sell to dominate the desperate will add more cash to their fortunes. They’ll pay the poor to die for them. Perhaps that is the world Vladimir Putin dreams of creating. He’s working hard to divide and conquer.

Who stands between the rich and selfish and the good of the people and their land? We do. The people who send in a few dollars here and there, who march to prove they exist and they care, who note which members of Congress and the administration represent their needs and which manipulate and use them for personal gain. The people can comprehend science. We know we depend on it. Many can recognize lies. We care about the world that will come after us. We care about the world we inhabit now. Don’t you love seeing how many of us are emerging to be heard!

There’s an old saying, “Don’t sh*t in your mess kit,” a mess kit being a container of meal rations. We aren’t always able to stop the greedy billionaires and their corporations from pursuing destructive agendas, but we stand in their way. We change our own habits. We do everything we can so our “mess kits” can feed us into the future. We realize the future is never far away. And we work on ways to reclaim our world.

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