We often use images that speak of another’s awareness of something. Turning a blind eye! Eyes glazed over! Having one’s eyes wide open.
Jesus spoke of seeing but not seeing. Seeing the speck in another’s eyes while missing the plank in our own.
The image I use in this Vincentian Mindwalk is two men sitting in a small boat, not seeing the gravity of the situation. The boat is taking on water in the stern. They are still literally “high and dry” in the bow. Since they are still high, it is not a problem for them… yet!
Metaphors for attitudes toward Earth Day April 22, 2023
I can claim each of these attitudes at various times towards climate change.
- I don’t experience it directly. (Yet others do!)
- My eyes glaze over. (The problems are too great for me to comprehend. So, I fall reflexively into attitudes learned in youth. “Nothing you can do about the weather!”)
- Eyes wide open. (I try to keep informed about what is already happening and support those who see more clearly.)
In 2015 Pope Francis used his position as a respected world leader to give us some context … and offer some steps forward in a document called “Laudato Si.”
The “big picture” Pope Francis sees
His perspective can be summed up in five words! “We live in God’s house.”
- the physical world gets reduced to a mere storehouse of resources for human consumption, real estate for market speculation. Through pollution of the planet’s land, air, and waters, we have degraded our common home, which is also God’s own home. We have turned this sacred abode into a marketplace.
- In a situation of planetary emergency like the collapse of our planetary abode, we need to be aflame once again with the zeal for our common home.
Pope Francis continues…
We forget our earth and all that is in it is God’s own house, permeated by the Spirit of God from the dawn of creation, where the Son of God pitched his tent in the supreme event of the Incarnation.
We live in God’s house as God’s children. But as children, we haven’t matured yet.
Let me share a memory of myself as an Immature child at Christmas. It may not be surprising, but as a young boy, I wanted toys… not something essential like clothing!
Unless it was something I could play with, I neither appreciated the gift nor the love that the gift symbolized.
Pope Francis invites us to change our way of thinking
Some might characterize Francis as dreaming. Yet the more I think of it, he has put his finger on a profound truth. Nothing will happen until we undergo a conversion in our way of thinking.
We must open our eyes to the interconnectedness of all creation and adopt a new way of living that values the environment, promotes social justice, and seek the common good.
Ecological conversion is rooted in the belief that the natural world is a sacred gift from God for all human beings and that human beings have a responsibility to care for it as stewards of creation.
This means not only taking practical steps to protect the environment but also adopting a new attitude towards nature that recognizes its inherent value and importance.
Ecological conversion involves recognizing that environmental problems are often symptoms of deeper social and economic inequalities. Addressing these issues requires a more comprehensive and integrated approach.
Which metaphor might describe your usual way of thinking?
Click below for an early audio version of this Vincentian Mindwalk