When I was a kid, I gobbled up book series like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings. The thing that most captured my imagination was that these stories were about exceptional people acting under extraordinary circumstances who save the world. And I wondered, if faced with similar circumstances, whether I could prove myself a hero like they were.
Not that long ago I was thinking about the crises facing us—the perpetual wars, violent intolerance, gross economic inequity, and looming above all the threat of devastating climate change—and suddenly realized that the stuff of my childhood fantasies was upon us. We are facing catastrophes.
There may be no fire-breathing dragons terrorizing towns, but there are coal-burning power plants that belch soot and greenhouse gases into our air. There may be no evil wizards plotting to take over the world but there are multinational corporations willing to devastate our Earth and exploit Her people for the sake of profits.
And I realized that heroes are indeed special people. But they aren't special because they're the “chosen” ones—offspring of gods, people with special birthmarks or powers—rather, they're special because they said “Yes.” The circumstances demanded that someone act, as the circumstances do now, and rather than looking away and leaving the work to others, heroes are the ones who say, “Yes, I'll do my part.”
Friends, we are facing extraordinary circumstances. Now is the time to show what we're really capable of. Not for glory, but for love—because the work needs to be done. Let us be heroes for Mother Earth and say “Yes.”
Kat Liu is a board member of Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth, a member of Unitarian Universalist Environmental Justice Collaboratory, and the owner/curator of wizdUUm.net.
Today’s practice is to prepare the ground for yourself or a group you are a part of to make a new commitment to action that will contribute to our collective SHIFT to a low carbon future. If you haven’t already, start a process of discernment about where your growing edge is and what your next step is to deepen your existing commitment. One suggested step of preparation is to find out the sources of the energy you use and explore the repercussions of its use for the climate and people.
Today’s resource for deepening this message are the Earth Day resources available from Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth. Individuals, families, and congregations are invited to connect to one or more issues that relate to realizing economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable communities, and this year’s Earth Day theme is the critical role that energy plays in our world and our future.
Commit2Respond's Climate Justice Month intends to take you through a transformative spiritual process leading to long-term commitments to climate justice. At the end of the month you will be asked to SHIFT to a low carbon future, ADVANCE human rights, and GROW the movement. Learn more and start thinking about how you will #commit2respond to climate change.