April is National Poetry Month, and April 22nd is Earth Day. National Poetry Month was started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996 and has the largest literary participation in the world. Earth Day had its first celebration in 1970, which is credited to Gaylord Nelson – a Democratic U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, and Denis Hayes – a student at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
The book “Silent Spring” by Rachel Carson (marine biologist and author, 1907-1964) was published in 1962 and is considered the catalyst for the environmental movement. The book “raised public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and public health.” Prior to this book, mainstream America seemed apathetic or unaware of the damage humans were inflicting on the environment.
“God, in His infinite wisdom Did not make me very wise – So when my actions are stupid They hardly take God by surprise.” (“Acceptance” by Langston Hughes, novelist and poet, 1902-1967)
“Go softly in the world, go softly in the world. If it is harmed, it cannot return; go softly…” (Yoruba people)
Come walk with me, come walk with me and see Earth’s wonders from sea to sea, the grass, the flowers and the trees, the birds, the butterflies and bees, the other life forms in the air for which we all must show we care. Let’s protect all the life forms that inhabit the earth and teach others to embrace their worth. And let’s do more than just sit and think that in the future we’ll need clean water to drink. Writing letters and emails to save the environment is a start to show our leaders that their actions play an important part. One hopes that to the protection of the environment world leaders will rise and make decisions that prove to be wise.
“Treat the world well…It was not given to you by your parents…It was willed to you by your children.” (Kenyan proverb)
It is encouraging that people all over the world are aware of the need to save the environment. Greed may slow down the process, but as American social activist and educator Betty Shabazz (1934-1997) said: “Surely people of goodwill can come together to salvage the world.”