Oppositional Earth Day Disordered Gerald Dillenbeck, M. Div., MPA, PDC Once upon a time there was a teenage girl, who lived with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Oppositional Disorder, and her dad, an EcoMinister by day and some kind of flying owl dreamer by night. In their EarthTribe, Earth Day was The High Holy Day for both the Yangish Republicans and the Yinnish Democrats, but for apparently oppositional reasons. One Earth Day early morning, before the sun had emerged once again, as it tends to do every Earth Day, Poison Ivy was lecturing her Yang Ken dolls and Yin Barbie dolls while sitting in bathwater up to her chin. Her EcoMinister Father checks in on her, just to be sure she has not yet drowned anyone, or taken the 3 rolls of toilet paper stored in the bathroom’s bottom drawer and thrown them into the toilet, then flushed, again. Her Empirical Princess Poison Ivy was shaking her royal finger at the Ken dolls. YangTribe’s problem is not accepting responsibility for your own karma, your lack of opportunities to continue over-competing with irrational, weedy, and sometimes toxic and even cancerously chronic comfort with Business As Usual economic lack-of-longterm-planning issues. You know perfectly well, but refuse to ace your internal and intergenerational and intercultural dissonance, that Business as Usual extractive competition with Earth is not compatible with your desire to redeem your children’s children’s economic future. Extraction without sufficient replacement of natural systems is a fool’s Lose-Lose Anti-Cultural Game designed to lead away from optimizing inclusively sustainable outcomes for your bratty grandkids. Your babies understand this but you don’t listen to them either as if maybe their depression and autism and attention deficit disorder, their anger and sadness and despair about ever being able to support themselves or ever even wanting kids to struggle to live through more crumbling crappy Earth Days, were totally insane, after looking at all the facts. So, who’s crazy really? Are you still really sure it’s not you? Maybe your grandkids know something about their future that you have helped perpetuate so you don’t want to think about its consequences for our global Unitarian Universal Intelligence future outcome prospects. Now, Barbie and your YinTribe, you have oppositional problems every Earth Day. Some of your Tribe keeps right on dancing and holding hands around that stupid Maypole, while the less manic go off to your silent siloes of sadness, beating yourselves up for your healthy chronic episodes of Earth Day cognitive dissonance. More of you Yins at least think about listening to your kids, to the ones escaping into virtual reality Earth-shelter basements, waiting for the lights to go out and the satellites to start falling, walking with the Green Occupiers, the Climate Justice and Earth Rights advocates, and more of you are less sure of just how insane your kids actually are becoming. Earth Days are difficult to celebrate without also feeling guilty about your own lack of grace. You get it that you could choose more and better ways to support a cooperatively mindful lifestyle within yourselves, within your families and other relationships, within your UU Tribal lives, within our now globally networked planet Earth. You see you could more actively pursue policies and procedures that reflect polycultural development, rather than competitively monoculturally stratifying and economically monopolistic dismay and decay. Don’t marginalize inclusive well-being through under-investment in racial and cultural and generational and inter-species mutual redemption and regeneration, rehabilitation and repurposing. You might better follow a very old tradition of mutually benign parasitic wisdom economics and ecology of profound interdependence. Just think about what we already understand about symbiotic incarnation and evolution, about systemic regenesis. You know, optimize your ecotherapeutic economic relationships. "You could go back to permacultural design and development’s Golden Rule standards for mutual mentoring your household and occupational and investment finances and ecology. UUs are communities of mutually redemptive, repurposing, regenerating economic faith in natural and spiritual living Earth-optimization systems. We require Win-Win cooperative global gaming strategies. Your kids probably already know how to do this, ask them, or talk to any organic gardener about the prime Yang-Yin relationship between regenerative and decompositional nutrient cycles, between global multisystemic abundance and soulful purgation, the functional relationships between seasons, and healthy regeneration of complex Climax Communities." Noticing that her EcoMinister dad was staring at her, actually listening for a change, maybe, Poison Ivy asked, “Why are you looking at me in that tone of voice, you know I’m right. I’m always right. That’s what Oppositional Disorder means, right? And, Poison Ivy and her EarthTribe Ken and Barbies continue to live here and now, if not quite so happily, ever after. The Once-ler: Sequel to The Lorax Gerald Dillenbeck, M. Div., MPA, PDC So I took the Truffula Tree of Life seed, while reminding the clinically depressed Mr. Once-ler that we are all born redeemers, not anything so simple as extractors. Redeemers do not extract what we have not prepared to replace sufficiently to sustain for future generations, to fairly claim redemptive regenerate value and standards. “You talk funny,” replied the Once-ler. “Go talk with your dead dinosaurs, your failing gorillas and their failing forests, and polar bears, and honey bees, with all your fancy economic redeemer theories, see how they feel about their investment in creating your sorry butt.” Not knowing quite what to say I thanked him for his sorry butt response and brought the Tree of Life seed back here to the UU faith community to learn what this community of mutual redeemers would most love to be with our Earth Day seed. Eventually someone came up with a very clever Permaculture Design strategy. Someone way in the back, no one is quite sure who, gasped out “Why don’t you plant the damn thing somwheres where the sun shines, unlike your sorry butts.” So we did. We took our Earth Day seed out to the lawn and we planted it where it would bring us graceful shade. We watered with the roof run-off barrels we also planted around our not-so-natural gathering place. Trees of Earth Day grow quickly in richly diverse nutrient-balanced organic compost, much like the rest of us receiving richly and deeply integrated nutrients, and not so much competitive, monochromatic, monopolistic, monocultural weeds and tumorous toxins in our always generous and kind, thoughtful and wise to the 7th generation of our future UU community, lovers of truth, redeemers of economic, ecological, multisystemic, polycultural, scientific, rational and sane, regenerative and rehabilitative reconnecting and religioning fertilizing and farming sustainability and cooperative synergetic integrity. Next thing you know we had a first generation of decomposing leaves, harvested flowers and berries, and four perfectly thermodynamically balanced organic Tree of Life Truffula Seeds. UU’s asked ourselves, again, How can we optimize the future of our children’s children with these redemptive seeds? Where does Earth most need such wealth? Again the Once-lerish voice croaked from lurking darkness in the back, “Why don’t you give one to the North to wave thank you through winter’s wind, one to the South, but not too far south because the coastline will become unstable by the end of this century, one to the East of the Connecticut River, to cool her morning water, but not too high up because our aquifer isn’t what it used to be, and one on Western horizon’s mountains, to profile all those red skies at night you’re always expecting here in your UU positive teleology truth-telling kinda way?” But, that’s not what we did. We brought one to the polar bears, and one to the honey bees, one to the gorillas and their forest, and one to the tortoises, and in return they gave us eggs and honey, lessons in cooperative tribal and permacultural living, and how to stay grateful through climatic winter hibernating fear and sadness and anger. From this we learned to live in our permacultured UU economy and ecological community like good cooperative organic fertilizers, farmers, mutually subsidiary and benign parasites, where I let you know both what I need, and what I have to share, and in exchange you are powerfully compassionate and mindful, so you tell me what I have to share that you need, and what maybe not quite so much, and what you have to share that I need and what maybe not quite so much. Then when we became adept with our endosymbiotically evolving Tree of Life Win-Win Cooperative Economic Game, sort of like playing Sims Cities in family purchasing teams, we diversified our cooperative market by mutually mentoring other communities about what the gorillas and forests, polar bears, honey bees, and tortoises taught us, the ecologic of cooperative economics, about becoming optimally regenerative and religioning redeemers of Earth Day’s primal gift, our global Permaculture Tree of Truly Sustainable Life, faithful to our 7 UU generations past, hopeful for our 7 generations future.