Man has become an intolerable burden for the earth. Everything in the earth is now crying out loud to curse and get rid of man. He is now a despised thing. The earth would be better without him.
Who is responsible for this? Man and man alone. He has used all his intelligence, education, energy, labor and organization to bring this curse on himself. In his pride, arrogance, greed, blind self-confidence, irresponsibility, and immeasurable foolishness he has forfeited all his claim to have any place on this planet. He wanted to mercilessly conquer and arrogantly dominate the planet, but has only succeeded in bringing himself to the threshold of his own extinction. While he thought he was dealing death blows to his enemy, he was also dealing death blows to himself. This has been his crowning glory. Man has been his worst enemy.
In his vanity man forgot that his life and the planet that gave him his home and provided him his sustenance were only gifts for him. He behaved as if he brought everything including himself into being and absolutely owned everything as a matter of unquestionable right.
Has man woken up and come to his senses? It does not look he has. Has he made an honest reappraisal of himself? Has he openly and fully admitted his unspeakable guilt and repented for it? He still talks of finding superior technology to bypass and cheat the fundamental laws that keep the planet going. He does not want to alter the way of life he has been vigorously pursuing since the European Renaissance. The process of man's self aggrandizement continues unabated at an ever accelerating pace. He still wants to use the planet as a real estate he has found for free. His arrogant mind remains obsessed with loot and plunder, and finding ever cleverer and more efficient ways of doing it. This does not cure the disease in man; the disease only grows and gets even more incurable.
The real question now is: Is man willing and ready to change his all devouring way of life and come to terms with the planet which is his home and which sustains him? Does man still retain any capacity in him to be humble and grateful? Perhaps he can reflect that the earth does not need man, and would fare better without him, but man needs the planet. He is hopelessly needy and miserably indebted. Man is an absolutely redundant being on this planet, and yet shamelessly engaged in loot and plunder.
Will man pause and think how foolish and destructive he has been and make a sober and sincere attempt to change his course?
A K M Mohiuddin, born in 1945 in what is now Bangladesh, is a retired university teacher of English literature. He taught in university in Bangladesh and abroad for nearly 42 years. He can be reached at akmm45 [at] yahoo [dot] com.
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