I evade my personal responsibility for the things I choose to do. I blame the government, the oil companies, George Bush, the economy, the wealthy and anybody else I can think of for the destruction that my lifestyle causes.
I put my comfort, my convenience and my conformity ahead of the lives and livelihoods of thousands of future generations and I try not to think too much about my daily contribution to the destruction of the world, bequeathed to me by thousands of past generations. I put myself far, far ahead of my ancestors and descendants and take from them for the most trivial of reasons.
I ignore the real human pain, suffering and death that my behaviour causes. Do I turn the page, switch the channel, or change the topic of conversation? I tell myself there is no point in changing before others do, and I convince myself that ‘Science’ will come up with a technological solution that will make my lifestyle and me OK.
I avoid, I deny, I justify and rationalise, I pretend, I project, I squirm and squeeze and do whatever I can to maintain my concept of myself as a good person while still doing what I do. I evade my moral responsibility a day at a time in the hope that reality will somehow be different tomorrow morning.
I steal from those who live far away from me, and who I do not know because I see their pain as cartoon pain, and not fully real. I casually destroy what future generations will depend upon to live because they have yet to be born and it is only me, and my time and my normalcy that is important.
Am I any better than those who, sixty years ago, did their jobs and lived their normal lives and didn’t ask questions about where their Jewish neighbours had gone? When they came for the Communists, i did not speak up for i wasn’t a Communist. I am like those who participated in slavery and other atrocities, except that the effects of my crimes will outlast all those others. Who will be left to speak up for me then?
And it is OK, because today I am part of the ‘normal’, busy, with other things on my mind and, if what I do is really so bad then so many others wouldn’t be doing the same, would they?
But when, in the hours before I die, I think back upon my life and what it has meant, I must do one thing. I must hope and pray that there is nothing more than this; nothing beyond life, beyond time or beyond myself, that there is no balance, no karma, no morality and no justice. This is what I seriously believe with a faith as strong as any fundamentalist, but, as so many fundamentalists fail to grasp, just because I believe in it doesn’t make it true. I can but hope that there is nothing more than this.
Because if there is, and I do what I do, knowing what I know…
Well, lets not think about that.