|AP photo/Charlie Riedel|
But what really struck me were those helpless birds--unable to move, simply trying to fly. This oil pumping into the Gulf makes me feel defeated. Granted, it has been a rough week. But there is something about seeing the birds that made me realize just how much we have messed up this Earth. We have ripped down old growth forests to make houses and put down asphalt. We have littered beaches. We have destroyed wetlands because they were "worthless". And now we have unleashed the worst ecological disaster the country has ever had. In short, we have shit our own bed and will have to lie in it.
I am realizing that all the work that I have done and many others is meaningless because we can't keep up or combat the tide of humanity that wants to foul things. The entire scope of the oil spill is hard to take in. And I've come to the realization that my compassion is suffering from fatigue. Granted, this has been a week where emotions have been raw. But the feeling of total helplessness as I watch the underwater cam showing oil gushing forth has given way to resignation and self-preservation through disconnection. Maybe that's what the constant bombardment of all things terrible on the news does--it wears us out and numbs us because the problem is so overwhelming that we feel completely powerless. And so compassion fatigue sets in.
Until I saw those birds. And their helpless plight brought back how precious life is. Every creature, every part of the ecosystem, deserves better than we give it. And we ourselves deserve better than what we are doing to each other.