My mom called me up this morning to tell me about a song she had listened to. It’s a country song by Alabama, so the likelihood of me running across it on my own was pretty much nil. But after reading the lyrics, I really like the message. It’s a bit more honky-tonk than I usually like, but I can deal with it for such an environmental anthem.

We live in the land of plenty
But many things aren’t plenty anymore
Like the water from our sink
They say’s not safe to drink
You gotta go and buy it at the store
Now we’re told there’s a hole in the ozone
Look what’s washing on the beach
And Lord, I believe, from the heavens to the seas
We’re bringing Mother Nature to her knees

So let’s leave some blue up above us
Let’s leave some green on the ground
It’s only ours to borrow, let’s save some for tomorrow
Leave it and pass it on down

Well there’s a change taking place way on the mountains
Acid rain is falling on the leaves
And down in Brazil, the fires are burning still
How we gonna breathe without them trees

So let’s leave some blue up above us
Let’s leave some green on the ground
It’s only ours to borrow, let’s save some for tomorrow
Leave it and pass it on down

There’s a place where I live called the Canyon
Where Daddy taught me to swim
And that water, it’s so pure
And I’m gonna make sure
Daddy’s grandkids can swim there like him

Now we all oughta feel just a little bit guilty
When we look into the eyes of our kids
‘Cause brothers it’s a fact, if we take and don’t put back
They’ll have to pay for all we did

Sometimes it seems like some of the older generation aren’t concerned about passing it down to us. Truly, I don’t want your money. You can keep your jewels and family heirlooms. I just want clean air, trees for my children to climb, and fresh water. I want my grandkids to ice skate on ponds, ski down hills (as long as they don’t also inherit my less-than-graceful abilities) and wade through creeks.

My mom was telling me about a time she went out to lunch with her grandmother. As they drove home, my great-grandma started to roll down her window. Mom spied her cup raised in one hand and quickly said, “Grandma, what are you doing?” Granny said, “I’m just gonna toss this cup out the window. It’ll just blow to the side of the road.” Mom was appalled, and quickly offered to hold the cup for the rest of the three minute drive back to the house, where she could put it in the trash.

I’ve heard people say casually, “Oh, well. I’m old, it doesn’t matter.” They spend their lives building up their fortune to pass down to their children, yet they aren’t concerned about the world those children will have to live in. Sure, those kids may end up with a bundle of dough, but if they have to wear gas masks as they head to the store to spend their money, how much fun will that be?

Everyone needs to be concerned. People in positions of power, old people on social security, toddlers in diapers…we all need to take care of our planet. The problems we are facing aren’t going to go away on their own.  We all need to work together to help to correct some of the damage we humans have done to the earth.

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