We've gotten ourselves very far from Nature and we work very hard at not knowing.
Our food comes from boxes or wrapped in plastic. We never see that steak cut from a carcass of a steer. We don't see chicken or pig factories in which animals are treated exactly like a piece of ceramic that goes from birth to death on a crowded assembly line. We don't have to wash dirt off our carrots, and we have no thought to what chemicals are in them.
Electricity comes from an outlet on our wall. We don't look at belching power plants or consider the inefficiency and ugliness of the grid of vulnerable wire that brings it to us. We don't think about blowing up mountains to scrape out coal or the men who kill themselves doing the scraping.
Clean water comes from the tap. It's cheap. We treat it as if it comes from a magical endless supply. And stuff that goes down the drain? Well, that just disappears.
Every now and then we see people on television who have none of those things - food, clean water, electricity - and we think "Tsk, tsk. There but for the grace of God go I," which means that God graces us most. God wants us to have these things. It is our right to waste and destroy as we want. We are special.
And I lie here on my comfortable bed, computer on my lap and look around at all my stuff. I didn't think when I bought that lamp or those curtains that I might have *bought chickens for an impoverished family so they could have sustainable income and food. I didn't think.
It can be painful to look at these things, but without looking - without knowing - we have no hope. We are no more than inflamed boils on the face of Earth. I know I can't solve all the problems, but maybe I can do one thing today. Maybe it all starts with looking, seeing, knowing. Surely compassion will follow.
*www.heifer.org for information about how you can give chickens to a family who needs them - and much more.