Sunday, March 28, 2010

Article for Starbulletin

I wrote an article titled, "To Protect Beautiful Earth," for Starbulletin, a Hawaii local newspaper.

Tetsuya Abe


   Did you sleep well last night? Some of you might not have been able to sleep for some reason; however, I think most of you slept soundly in your bed. But what if you were thinking the world may completely change the following morning?

   It is not only in the world of movies that the world changes overnight. Many scientists agree that we will see the earth in a catastrophic state 20 or 50 years from now if we do not take effective measures immediately and seriously. However, there is a line of thought that it is a matter of such global scale that we cannot make any difference. In response to such an idea, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Muta Maathai retold the following African story about "little hummingbird."

   A big fire started in the woods. Great blazes were everywhere and every single animal ran in fear out of the woods except for a little hummingbird who said, "I have to do something about that fire." Then, the hummingbird flew to the nearest spring and took some drops of water with his tiny beak. He flew to the fire, came back for more water and went back again to the fire. And he kept doing it. Meanwhile, the bigger animals looked at the hummingbird and said, "Little hummingbird, stop doing that, you can't fight this fire." But the little hummingbird didn't pay any attention to them and said to himself, "I'm doing the best I can."

   In Seicho-No-Ie, we consider our environment as a shadow of our minds; therefore, it will change when our minds change. We think this principle can also apply on a global scale. Since what is taking place on the planet is a shadow of people's collective minds, it is important to change individual minds from a mind of taking from the earth to a mind of compassion for the earth.

   We in Seicho-No-Ie have been dealing with this issue from our religious standpoint: to worship and be grateful for everything as manifestations of the life of God, to hold a belief that we are sustained by the whole universe, and to practice and spread this mindset, which is of utmost importance in solving this problem. If these ideas seem interesting, please visit the following site:

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