Lip Service

by John Gibson

It’s not that lip service is bad.  Indeed, we need to speak out and speak up even more.  Still, without walking the talk we fall short of what is truly transformative.  No where is this more evident than our celebrations of Martin Luther King, Jr. this season of the year.  MLK got it right about racism, economic inequality, and war mongering.  Even before the Earth Charter was drafted he was doing it.  We laud his courage and rehearse his dream.  Still, racism, economic injustice, and war mongering persist.  Why?  What can we do about it?

Re-reading the Earth Charter, as I always do when its my turn to write the Monday Memo, I am disturbed that every principle of the Charter is being ignored and I am encouraged that every principle is being implemented somewhere by someone(s).  For example, Shikha Bhattacharyya and several residents of Terre Haute have launched a Green Business initiative.

”Every month reTHink, Inc. will identify a business in the Wabash Valley that is making efforts to be environment friendly. All Green Businesses will be awarded Green stickers based on their greening effort and will be invited to our annual gala and recognized.  To make our newsletter worth your time, every month we will also include a green recipe of a household item so you can save money, health and environment.”   (From website

Yes, we can and should renounce an economic system that all too often plunders and pollutes the good Earth but when businesses like Harvest Bakery in Terre Haute go green and clean we can “put our money where our mouth is” and patronize that business.

What else can we do to make the world more like the “standards” set forth in the Earth Charter?  Some of you reading this are already heavily engaged in such actions.  For those of us still wondering what to do now, when so many things seem to be going wrong, try reading the Charter over and over with an eye for some aspect of it that breaks you heart and stirs your soul.  Then find an organization that is already doing something about it (believe me, there will be one) and hitch your time, talent, and treasure to their wagon. 

For a world that walks the talk.

Shannon Anderson