This week the weather has been a blessing. The birds were chirping, the trees were swaying ever so softly in the wind. I was truly amazed by how beautiful Earth is. Let's be honest, we were born on a perfect planet. Now, to stop myself from sounding too nature-crazy, this weather reminded me of the film, The Lorax. For those of you who haven't seen this Dr. Seuss classic-turned-film, it speaks to the need for environmental protection. Specifically, there is this little magical creature (the Lorax) that claims he "speaks for the trees!"; thus, it is his job to protect nature and all it's glory. Here he is now:
In short, this tale tells a story about a driven, but misguided young man who came to town and cut down all the trees so he could use their fluffy leaves to make a product, and a profit. The Lorax fights dearly to protect not only the trees but all the animals and habitats within the ecosystem. However, the Lorax ultimately fails and the forest is left dry and lifeless. The new society even has to purchase air due to the tree extinction.
Now, while this is a child's film, this is a film that all adults need to watch. If you look at this film or book, there are clear parallels between our reality and this fantasy world. Living in the United States of America, we are blessed with a lot. Much more than some other struggling countries. However, our capitalist attitude--profit over everything--results in catastrophic results for society, and our home (Earth).
Far too often we focus our priorities on making the quickest buck, rather than weighing the consequences of our actions. The antagonist of the film, Mr. O'Hare, fights to prevent the seed being planted, until the very end, because its growth would put him out of business (he is the evil man that sells air). How corrupt is that? He would condemn a nation so he can remain the richest man in the world. Mr. O'Hare is a key example of a capitalist. Capitalism does not foster unity or equality. In fact, it fosters inequality and division. We need to start asking ourselves if this is the kind of society we want to live in and if these are the kind of lives we want to lead. Earth should not be taken for granted. It provides us with so much, and the least we can do is treat it respectfully. In all honestly, who wants to live in a wasteland?
While the environment is very important, that is not the only spark of wisdom this film instills in the audience. At the end of the film, a young boy finally plants a seed that eventually grows into a blossoming forest and nature is restored (literally and figuratively). However, if this boy didn't care, then their society would still be a polluted, artificial bubble. My point is, if you look in the news, there are a lot of things happening in our country that many people seem to brush over and ignore. Most people assume the government or other people will handle fixing national problems. But the reality is, that is not enough.
Our citizens need to support and fight for rights such as equality (income, wealth, racial, and class), environmental protection, more extensive gun laws, and fair and accessible education for all to name a few. Ultimately, unless the people who believe these fights are not theirs start believing they are, we could end up selling air for profit in our future.
Let this film be a lesson, but also a warning. If we keep going down this road, we may not have a society or even a planet left to save.
So I will leave you with this great Dr. Seuss quote: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."