A Picture Worth A Thousand Words

This accompanying, very moving photograph has been sent many times with varying messages about the plight of the children in Syria (or other war zones) or Nepal (or other natural disaster zones). No matter its true origin, however, this photo can serve as the real “shot heard ’round the world,” a phrase often used to demarcate the beginning of terrible wars. Rather than propelling us to war, however, this poignant and profound “shot” should serve to spur us all into soul-searching and life-saving actions.

Whether the picture is from a nature-induced disaster or from a totally man-made conflagration, it conveys exactly the same poignancy.

I22323_10206521654830237_2145402058724259062_nf the photo stemmed from one of Nature’s increasing furies, we empathize with these children, and we know we have contributed to our increasing carbon footprint and global warming. More earthquakes, droughts, wildfires, floods, avalanches and storms are abounding throughout the world, imperiling millions of our children and our brothers and sisters.

If that same photograph emanated from any of the many human generated violent war zones currently afflicting humanity around the world, the same stark message pertains: Helpless, frightened little children, alone in the midst of a terrible tragedy, trying to survive while surrounded by danger and destruction. We may not be able to stave off the full impacts of an “enraged’ Mother Nature,” but we surely can reduce our carbon footprint and environmental pollution which contribute to her anger.

Equally as important for humanity, we have to work on Our Emotional Footprint. I do believe that we can be successful in reducing interpersonal conflict and wars. We have no choice: We have to dedicate ourselves to more benevolent and respectful behaviors to our planet and with each other, and we have also have to “up the ante” in our generosity and caring for the environment as well as to each other.

This won’t be easy, and will take sacrifice on all our parts.

Just as the world has been concentrating on reducing our Carbon Footprint and slowing global warming, our political and other leaders must concentrate their efforts on demonstrating civility, respect, tolerance and cooperation, leading to a Positive Emotional Footprint, just as we must do on a personal everyday level.


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