To the Editor:
Margot and I came to the Creston Valley 32 years ago in search of a simpler-than-city lifestyle and some land where we could grow nutritious food without poisonous pesticides and artificial fertilizer. We found all of that and much more.
We made friends with some wonderful and like-minded people, people who wanted to do their part in creating a better world — peace activists and conscientious war resisters, who came from the U.S., especially to the West Kootenay, and were called draft dodgers. We all wanted to live in harmony and without excessive consumption, and we wanted to stop the destruction of our sacred Mother Earth. We stood on logging road blockades, in anti-war demonstrations and fought against anything that threatened our planet. Some got arrested and some went to jail. We fostered respect for our environment and care for the Earth, those core values of all religions and wisdom traditions.
We are in our eighties now and believe, as we did then, that the solution to the current environmental crisis is to restore the wisdom of restraint, respect and reverence for all life. We were called dreamers and idealists and were told that the real world has to be governed by realists; only they understand economics and politics and know what is good for us.
Realists under the command of capitalists now control the world. What have they achieved after controlling us for a long time? In spite of progress in science and technology and unprecedented economic growth over the past two centuries, they have failed to solve the problems of malnutrition, hunger and war. Vast amounts of resources are spent on weapons and luxuries that bring natural devastation, while huge numbers of humans suffer from deprivation and disease. Dwindling natural resources and global climate change are all results for allowing power to be in the hands of those realists.
Their legacy includes entire countries in debt while banks and financial institutions are bailed out by the taxpayers. These realists have failed utterly in bringing peace and happiness to humankind after they had been given ample chance.
The time has come to give idealists a chance. Humanity will be far better served with the values of respect for all life, harmony, humility and hospitality than by the values of success, speed and greedy self-interest.