The Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
– Wendell Berry
World Wildlife Day
Today is World Wildlife Day. With biodiversity in decline and illegal poaching on the rise, it is a good day to reflect on what we truly value in this world. To poachers, a Rhino horn brought in over $60,000/kg in 2014, Elephant ivory about $2,142/kg. But what is the real value of these animals in our world?
Investing in extinction assures our own demise. That we could express the lives of these trophic species as items of economic weaIth is not only a crime of action but a failure of human thought, threatening our own survival and humanity. With each animal killed merely for sport, or power, or economic gain, we devalue our connection to the natural world.
Message for World Wildlife Day
In the face of such overwhelming global issues, anything we can do may seem like spitting into the wind. But as Robert Kennedy once said:
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
We each have within us the power to stand up for a living planet and send forth a “ripple of hope.”