IN summer of 2006, I asked a “highly placed Israeli source” this question: “What’s with Olmert?!” New Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was botching the Lebanon war, relations with the territories and his Kadima paty’s coalition, and facing criminal indictment. The source’s resigned reply: “We work with what we’ve got.”
That reply sounded both realistic and defeatist. Realistically, in a given situation, we each do the best we can with what we’ve got. If we believe this is the best we can do, it follows that we’re always at our best.
We can also defeatedly whine about results, saying, “This is all we we’ve got to work with. What did you expect?” In other words, we deserve to end up like this, we didn’t achieve anything, and it’s no one’s fault — especially not MINE.
In this, we see more than a glass-half-empty vs. glass-half-full difference. We see the difference between humans who can get themselves out of serious political and environmental trouble, and humans who won’t.
High-profit technologies, such as genetically modified foods, nanotechnology and laser uranium enrichment are being advanced without regard for their consequences. Human-created gases and pollutants have re-ordered our planet’s seasons and cycles in ways we’ve never seen before.
THIS new form of earth is what we’ve got to work with now. I believe our only way forward is to dedicate ourselves to tikkun olam — healing the earth and those who live on it.
There’s no better time to embrace healing than now, as our children return from idealistic weeks at summer camps.