Why does the Earth need a day?


By David Joel Miller.

Which Celestial Bodies get a day and which don’t?

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

Today my calendar reports that this is earth day. I have some very mixed feelings about this day.

First is just the idea that the earth, home to all us humans, as far as I know, gets this one day a year. Why an earth day and then why only once a year.

The sun gets one day a week called Sunday. But poor old Mother Earth, just one day a year. Granted without the sun we would not be able to hang in here on planet earth very long, still, why do we not give the earth equal billing and add an eighth day each week just devoted to Mother Earth?

The moon also has its day called Monday. Like the Sun our moon gets one day a week. Not Mother Earth, she gets only one day and that is poorly observed. We do special things every week on Sunday and for most of us we return to our regular employment on Monday but what if anything special do we do on Earth Day?

Which also raises the question why is Earth Day written that way and not as Earthday as in Sunday and Monday?

Why do only the celestial bodies in our immediate neighborhood get a day? Do Mars and Saturn get their own special days? What about Pluto, I always liked him, he should get a day even if there is some question about his membership in the planet club.

Further consideration – is Earth Day a happy occurrence? Given the state of our planet, this day does not seem to be anything to celebrate. The ice is melting, the air is polluted and there is more and more debris and destruction.

You would think that after all the time we humans have been on this earth we would have reached some sort of peace treaty with Mother Earth. What we have done to her, all in the name of progress has been nothing short of appalling.

In any contest between mother earth, I as a hopeless human, tend to come down on the side of the humans. But all in all most of our efforts to improve the earth, tame her and put her to the use of humans has not worked out anywhere near the way we planned this.

Most of our improvements have left us coming up short on things we used to have. The forest we cut down has created less oxygen for us to breath and more dust bowls. Those mines that brought us minerals to improve our lives, some of them left toxic wastes that render that old mountain uninhabitable. We also have discovered that our activities can give us all sorts of toxins and new diseases.

On the whole, our efforts to improve Mother Earth seem to be backfiring.

Our relationship with Mother Earth seems to have taken a turn for the worse. We are acting like a pack of descendants gone to stay with grandma for the holidays; we eat her food, trash her house and treat her with great disrespect. At this point in the visit, grandma is hoping we will all pack up and go home.

I am thinking that when we have eaten Mother Earth out of house and home when we have so polluted the earth and depleted her resources, she may not be sorry to see us go.

You would think that after all this time of living off Mother Earth’s bounty we would behave better and treat her hospitality like we appreciated it.

One thing is clear, Mother Earth will be here still spinning on her axis and making trips around the sun long after we humans have vanished from the scene.

So if you find a forest you particularly love, cut it down to make paper so we can write books in praise of the vanishing forest. Let’s build as many buildings as possible even if they fall down and decay in the next few years. We need to give Mother Earth some things to work on fixing after we are all long gone.

Someone told me that Mother Earth only invented humans because she wanted a way to make Styrofoam. That may be true because our synthetics will surely outlast all of us.

Hope you are having a happy Earth Day and that you are finding that happiness does not come from what you have or own but from who you are on the inside.

Thanks for listening to me.

David Joel Miller, LMFT, LPCC

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For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

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