Yesterday I finished the terrific book; "Deep down things: the earth in celebration and dismay." It has Buddhist themes but I think is very accessible to all readers. The author did a good job providing an brief overview of the intersections between ecology and The Four Noble Truths and The Eightfold Path. He told many stories of our interdependence with the earth and all creatures and the ways in which we harm and help, and new ways of considering things. He pointed out in one circumstance where poison was used to kill of mosquitos in response to West Nile disease, but it killed off the critters that fed of the mosquitos as well, and introduced toxins into the environment, resulting in more harm in the long term.
One story that really struck me was of his childhood and the family gardens and farms. There were ongoing problems with rabbits eating the vegetables and many tactics were tried from dogs, poison, traps etc. He pointed out that other things got caught and poisoned as well (such as dogs). Still the rabbits persisted and the methods of attempted removal brought more suffering. Finally the solution that worked was to grow an extra row or so of the rabbits favorite leafy vegetable on the edge of the garden. The author described that by including the rabbit he was no longer 'other' and that everyone was satisfied.
Imagine if we all embraced opportunities to "grow an extra row" not only for those we care about but those unknown or even those who have done something harmful. It has left me thinking of opportunities in 2011 to grow an extra row or two.
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