Good Will Toward Earth

I pulled out my trifold scrap paper scratch pad that is always with me. The Earth had just moved under my feet in the middle of a church service, and I had to take note.

What had happened is that, once again, I felt the deep sadness of being doomed to failure to see “Peace on Earth, good will toward men” since the last year’s advent service. And it came to me:

We can’t achieve peace on Earth or show true, meaningful and lasting good will toward men if we fail on such a massive and ongoing manner to show good will toward the planet from which those theoretical recipients of our peace take their lives and livelihoods.

After a long cathartic spleen-venting screed against what our collective greed has made of capitalism, I came back around to acknowledge that, if you squint just so,  there are some really hopeful things happening in our relationships with Earth and each other.

If you’d care to read more, I posted the full piece over at Medium–my 2014 end of year message cast out into the ethers.

[su_button url=”″ target=”blank” style=”soft” background=”#a1c8ea” color=”#1f1717″ size=”5″ wide=”yes” center=”yes” radius=”5″ icon=”icon: thumbs-up” icon_color=”#ffffff” text_shadow=”1px 1px 0px #000000″ desc=”Peace on Earth, Good Will to Earth: Towards a Genuinely Peace-focused 2015″]Peace On Earth, Good Will to Earth[/su_button]

And if you need more supporting documentation to begin the new year hopefully, read on….

The world is not falling apart: The trend lines reveal an increasingly peaceful period in history.

Here’s to a great 2015! | MoveOn.Org | Democracy In Action
Robert Reich points to the way things ARE WORKING in late 2014

And on the grudgingly pessimistic side, an excerpt from poet W. H. Auden‘s post-Christmas lament:

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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. The data in “the world is not falling apart” article was very encouraging. Thank you for that. I have posted it on Facebook.

  2. from E.B. White…

    As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate…Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.”

    Happy New Year, Fred!