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Who Can We Trust?

Updated: Jul 24

Hello and welcome to this glorious Friday, May 8, 2020! This is a rare and precious day that will never come again. Be gentle, we’re doing the best we can.

I think everyone has an agenda. So, who can we trust?

We are living in some crazy times! Conspiracies from both sides are surfacing (there are no sides – the left wing and right wing are part of the same bird). So, who can we trust? The media purportedly reports fake news. Politicians allegedly twist the truth. Businessmen and women misrepresent their products. So, who can we trust? I see more and more people becoming more and more distrustful. Almost everyone seems to be skeptical of everything unless, of course, whatever is being reported on agrees with their worldview, then it’s factual and trustworthy – regardless of the source.

I recently watched a documentary, “Planet of the Humans,” that challenges the benefit of clean energy, specifically wind, solar and biofuels. Research done by the director and environmentalist, Jeff Gibbs, suggests that these clean energy modalities are in fact just as damaging to our environment, if not more, than fossil fuels. The movie is quite convincing. As one who studied the environment for six years, I know about greenwashing and the misrepresentation of the benefits of clean energy. The movie showed that some environmentalists, who I deeply respect, have financial ties to the fossil fuel moguls, the Koch Bros. I’m sure there is some truth to what this film implies but I seriously doubt that there is any capital “T” truth. I know enough about clean energy to recognize what wasn’t reported in the movie. This suggests that the data was likely cherry-picked to make the documentary more convincing. The point of a movie like this is to make a clear point. I don’t believe that the answers to our quandaries are so simple. But I’m no expert, I have only my opinions. So, again, who can we trust?

We are living in some frightful and confusing times. Who do we go to for advice on how to live? I’m going to suggest, Mr. Rogers. More specifically, Nancy Rogers, the mother of Fred.

When Fred Rogers was young and frightened by bad news, his mother reminded him to, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

We live in a crazy, mixed up, messy, beautiful and remarkably complex world. I certainly don’t have any great wisdom or sage advice on how to directly undo what’s destroying our swiftly tilting planet; on who’s right and who’s wrong. I can’t distinguish with any certainty who has a hidden agenda and who is genuine. All I can do is do the best I can with what I have. And what I have meow is an eye out for those who are the helpers. Those are the people I trust.

The helpers seem to think more about the well-being of others than themselves. They tend to see themselves as inseparable from anyone (and anything) else. They listen attentively and let you know they care about you and what you have to say. They respect you exactly the way you are. All the helpers that I know live simple, happy lives. They are content with what they have and who they are. They don’t want for anything. This seems rare in a society of consumerism. The helpers I know are generous. Helpers are also human which means that they make mistakes. People like Fred Rogers was a helper.

The helpers I know may not have any wisdom about what is safer for the planet; fossil fuels or clean energy. They may not know how to handle a pandemic. They may not even know what to do about harmful pesticides, deforestation, coral bleaching or nuclear waste. But they do know how to treat people with love and respect regardless of what they believe.

I believe that how we treat each other is a reflection of how we treat the Earth and how we treat the Earth is a reflection of how we treat each other. We can’t continue to try to fix the environmental problems and treat each other like crap. Primarily because there is no difference – “we are the environment”—John Francis. Maybe, just maybe, if we could (re)learn how to treat each other kindly, with love and respect, we could (re)learn how to take care our one and only planet. Maybe, just maybe, if the people who know about clean energy and those who know about fossil fuels could learn how to be helpers, maybe we could learn how to trust them. Maybe if those on the left and those on the right could learn how to be helpers, we could (re)learn how to trust each other. We’re more similar than we are different.

If everyone has an agenda, and I believe they do, then I will trust those with the agenda of helping. I don’t know much, but I believe in my heart that change must start from within. And because I can’t make you a be a helper, then I must start with me. So, I will look to the helpers for guidance. They are who I trust!

I love you and there isn’t anything that you can do about it!

Trying to help,

Dan

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