I hear from the youth that our system is broken and we need to set it on fire. They argue that year after year the amount of corrupt money entering our legislature, our courts and our executive branch has grown exponentially and the only solution is a revolution. They want to set the government on fire.
As much as I concur with their assessment of the state of affairs, I believe in a safer form of fire. Fire burns indiscriminately, burning the weeds along with the beautiful Redwoods, leaving ashes behind. In the process toxic gases are released which create havoc to living forms much further away from the fire, and when it’s over the nature of what will grow is uncertain. As a matter of fact nothing might grow, or perhaps invasive species will welcome the opportunity and move in.
I tell them I am hesitant to set a government on fire, because I lived through one of these fires 44 years ago–a fire that drastically changed the landscape of my home country as well as the rest of the world. For 44 years the people of Iran have tried to get rid of an invasive species, which is holding on for dear life, destroying and suffocating the beautiful flowers and trees that want to regrow. The struggle has come to a climax and we are trying to get rid of the invaders, but it has been extremely difficult.
I tell them reform is the solution–the slow steady process of education and activism. Who knows? It might go more quickly than anticipated. The task seems daunting with the tremendous power and money that is confronting them, but the youth have the energy, creativity and purtiy of heart, which when united, can move mountains.
So let’s not burn down the forests, but let’s remove the weeds and vines that might be suffocating them. Let’s stop the chemicals and toxins that are harmful to their existance and unite to save all of our forests and natural landscapes. Let’s go for a safer form of fire.