Every year on April 22nd, our country celebrates “Earth Day.” At first it seemed like it was a day only for fanatical environmentalists who insisted on uprooting hundreds of native species to save one species that “might” be using that area as a habitat.
Thankfully, most people see Earth Day for what it really is, a day to remember that we have a responsibility to take care of this planet that we call home. Yes, I know, every day is Earth Day. If we only take care of things once a year, we are already doomed. But that doesn’t stop us from having Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day. Yes, it is only one day out of the year, but I sure hope we all call our parents (if still living) more than once a year!
When it comes to taking care of Planet Earth, we have often gotten hung up on the definitions of dominion and domination, or so it seems to me. Dominion refers to a realm, province or kingdom where the leader(s) of that entity was responsible for all who were within its perimeters. It was a responsibility taken seriously. Then there is the way we often view domination – where we are at the top and we got there by climbing over top of everything else that just didn’t measure up and we will do whatever it takes to stay here because on top you have it all and you can do whatever you want. For some strange reason – a lot of people took God’s command in Genesis that man should have dominion over the Earth – to tend it and care for it – for domination – to get whatever we can out of it because we are at the top!
I hope with each passing Earth Day we lean more toward dominion instead of domination. I hope we learn to take care of what there is and what there could be. Does this mean there could be some hard choices ahead? Yes! Everyone knows just about that you can feed many more people by planting a field with produce than you can be using it as pasture to raise meat for consumption. But we don’t use Earth resources wisely – we are on top and we don’t care how we got there we just care about our preferences and staying on top so if I want to raise meat instead of produce than that’s what I’m going to do. This is just one example. There are many tough choices ahead if we are going to practice responsible dominion instead of greedy domination.