When I was growing up, the three Rs meant reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic. Today they signify ways to be socially responsible: Reduce, reuse, recycle. Environmental justice has become a new catchphrase. Just what does it mean to live justly? Is it a faith issue? A moral obligation? Is it even doable?
As a Christian, I am called to love God and love others. I know people of other faiths are, too. Living justly seems to me, a practical outgrowth of that. Is what I choose to eat or wear when I get up an ethical decision? What kind of chemicals were used on the farm where my bacon was raised? Is my coffee served in Styrofoam that doesn’t break down? Under what conditions did the seamstress who made my jeans work and was she paid slave wages? Is my car polluting, my sprinkler system sapping the aquifer, my fertilizer running into springs and ponds?
It seems overwhelming, doesn’t it? How could I make a difference in the system? I cannot overhaul it, but I can effect small change. The Butterfly Effect, another name for the Chaos Theory, states that a single occurrence, no matter how small, can effect great change. Let’s all celebrate our beautiful Earth by committing to one small act. Let’s find a way to be butterflies!