Rachel Crandell Earth Day, April 22, 2001 
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Here's another happy note. The Wilderness Society recently announced that more environmental organizations were integrating spiritual and moral values into their missions and messages. They are encouraging dialogue that will transform the environmental movement. Their plan promises to bring a new level of idealism to their work. They are discovering within themselves and sharing with others the meaning of concepts such as spirituality, faith, morality and values. They wrote, "Our plan of enabling and encouraging spiritual thought and expression in environmental work can improve our conservation work, strengthen our resolve and help others to understand our message. By making more individuals aware of the connections between spirituality and environmental preservation, we can only improve the quality of all conservation work. We are ready to help bring those connections to light for everyone working to protect the Earth."

I loved reading that. And I loved receiving the letter to Alumnus last fall from Dr. Moffet. He wrote that employers around the country note that "Principia provides an educational experience that, because it trains its students to be critical thinkers, excellent communicators, and globally alert citizens, is more important than ever before." I hope we are turning out Principians that are all of those things, but the one that stood out to me was when George pin-pointed "globally alert citizens." We sure do need to be that! And best of all we know how to pray! We can be expecting that useful solutions will be seen. For example, recently scientists at the U of Florida discovered that a common fern has the capacity to soak up arsenic from the soil without keeling over dead. Once the plant has pulled arsenic from the soil, it can be harvested safely. It could be planted in contaminated soils to help with cleanup from farm chemicals and wood preservatives. Who would have thought? That is an angel message, too.

Scientists, voters, politicians, CEOs, citizens, "consumers" can all be receptive to ideas that bring solutions. Some may be surprising. Remember Elisha's solution to the lost ax? He threw a stick into the deep river where the ax had sunk and "the iron did swim." Even though the idea defied physical laws, Elisha was obedient to God's angel message, and the solution was at hand. We, too, can be willing to listen for and follow angel messages that will lead us to be gentler to our planet home.

In closing I want to share some of my favorite quotes, ideas that caution me, inspire me, and keep me hopeful:

"Man has gone to the moon, but he does not yet know how to make a flower, a tree or a bird song. Let us keep our dear countries free from irreversible mistakes which would lead us in the future to long for the same birds and trees."
Felix Houphouet-Boigny, President of the Ivory Coast

"Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who does nothing because he could only do a little."
Edmund Burke, British Statesman

"What you think or know or believe is of little consequence. In the end the only thing of consequence is what you do."
John Ruskin

"The last word in ignorance is the man who says of an animal or plant: "What good is it?" If the land mechanism as a whole is good, then every part is good, whether we understand it or not. If the biota, in the course of eons, has built something we like but do not understand, then who but a fool would discard seemingly useless parts? To keep every cog and wheel is the first precaution of intelligent tinkering."
Aldo Leopold, Naturalist

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead, Anthropologist

I invite you to be not a just a consumer, but that committed citizen and help us change the world!

And finally in the sixth section of this week's lesson, Mary Baker Eddy reminds us that "The devotion of thought to an honest achievement makes the achievement possible." (S&H 199:21-22)

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