This weekend I got the sad news from a good friend that his wife, Stephanie, had passed away after a long battle- 25 years- with cancer.
Steph had grown up in a notorious area in California- a residential area polluted with carcinogens. The legacy of that site has had repercussions to the residents for decades. At the time, the industries that caused the contamination either didn’t know or didn’t care what the implications of their disposal were. Ultimately, the decision to dispose of these chemicals without complete understanding of their impact on the surrounding environment, and the people who lived there, was not made with responsibility and safety as the criteria, it was made for short-term profits.
Their collective imagination somehow could not grasp the effect of this decision on real people, and real lives. They do not know Steph. They cannot have imagined the scope of the damage that they were doing to people- if they were capable of that vision, yet did this in spite of it, then my contempt for them knows no words.
Steph, thankfully, had a wonderful, rich life and was blessed to have a long period of relatively good health for much of her time with her daughter.
If you have any doubt about your resolve and commitment to finding environmentally responsible solutions to our energy needs, to holding corporations and governments responsible for their actions, for fighting the complacence of the mass-consumer mentality of this country and this world- think again. Think of Steph. Her husband, her family, and the friends and families of the lives she has touched…. and what they’ve suffered so a corporation could post a good year for their shareholders.
I’m reposting this video- a Native American Elder asking, when do you cease to be a CEO and start being a Grandfather. My question: when do you stand up for what you believe, and become a human being, a citizen of the world, and decide not to act as a self-centered, spoiled child?