Earlier this week, I got my final quick look at our completed book before it hits the presses. Not having time to read every chapter, I concentrated on the all-important beginning and ending — the Introduction and Chapter 11, A Return to Harmony. As with many other things in life, if you start out right, and finish strong, everything else seems to fall into place.
As I carefully read the final chapter for the last time, I once again realized that our “return to harmony” with nature is really what it’s all about. And what we choose to eat is a HUGE part of that process. After beginning my journey in 2002, I have progressed from being just a health enthusiast, to an environmentalist, to the activist that I have become today. That said, our final chapter in the book should be regarded as a call to action.
Chapter 11 — A Return to Harmony (an excerpt)
“Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage.” —Confucius
The world’s scientists have recorded over 50,000 vertebrate species on planet Earth, including some 5,500 species of mammals. Other vertebrates include fish, reptiles, birds, and amphibians. Beyond the vertebrates are about 1 million named spcies of insects, and scientists estimate that millions more are yet to be discovered. For eons, all of those species lived in harmony with each other and their natural environment—until recently. Over the past century, the human species has distinguished itself as the only one that is not living in harmony with the rest of the planet.
What is needed to correct this problem is a blinding flash of the obvious. One of the geniuses of the modern era, Albert Einstein, said it best: “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances of survival for life on earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”
Deep down inside, we may have all sensed for some time that some- thing was terribly wrong with our way of life and its host of negative consequences for our planet. We just haven’t had a clear understanding of what it was, how it got that way, or what—if anything—we could do about it. I hope your vision of what’s wrong with this picture is more in focus now that you better understand the staggering damage that has resulted from our way of eating. Returning to a more natural diet for our species won’t solve all our problems overnight, but it will be a pretty good start.
In a mere blink in the lifespan of our planet, we got into this mess; maybe we can get out of it in even less time. If all of this makes sense to you, then it’s time to come to grips with what it means. With this new knowledge comes responsibility. Now that you know how to easily solve the health-care crisis, make tremendous environmental improvements, greatly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, feed the hungry, and end the widespread suffering of animals, what are you going to do with that knowledge? Simply knowing something doesn’t change anything or make anything better. An ancient Persian proverb states, “It is nothing for one to know something unless another knows you know it.” Every single person can make a difference by actively participating in a collective return to harmony. Beginning with just a few people, this grassroots effort can gather momentum quickly.
By simply eating a health-promoting diet, we have the power to reverse many personal and worldwide problems. When enough people participate in changing their eating habits, the markets will respond, and the movement will gain momentum. With a solid understanding of the enormity of what is at stake, you can make a difference. Even better, you can help others understand as well. Are you going to keep this knowledge to yourself?
Obviously, you can start with sharing what you’ve learned with your own family, beginning with your children. By helping your children adopt this powerful way of eating, you will be ensuring not only their lifelong health but also the health of future generations of your family. Beyond your children and other close relatives, you can share your newfound knowledge with other people you care about. Without being preachy or proselytizing, you can share what you know with those who show an interest. They will pass the good word along.
You might also think about starting a study group in your community, writing to your legislators at the state and federal level, submitting articles to local newspapers, hosting speakers in your community, or organizing a proactive task force to spread the word on your college campus. Or you can aim lower. Help just three people understand what you have learned about the world-changing power of plant-based nutrition, and influence them to make some changes in their own lives.
If each person reaches just three people over the course of a year, we could dramatically change the world in less than five years. This is how to launch a grassroots revolution in health-care and so much more—by spreading the information to as many people as possible. Then, we hope, we will live to see the day that our highly inefficient, destructive, and disease-promoting Western diet is simply “not cool” anymore—much like cigarette smoking. How many people do you need to start a revolution? History tells us that you don’t need as many as you might think—a lot closer to 10 percent of the population than 50 percent.
In a world full of sick, obese, or starving people, suffering animals and rapidly disappearing natural resources; how can we possibly not come together and end all of this madness once and for all? Given what you now know—if you don’t take action—what will you tell your adult grandchildren someday when they ask why you didn’t?
Ultimately, your decision is a simple matter of health, hope, and harmony. As each of us begins to take charge of his or her own health, we simultaneously plant the seeds of hope, accelerating the pace with which the human race can return to living in harmony with nature. Since we consider ourselves smarter than all the other creatures, we should be able to figure out how to make our world a better place. The time for that action is now.
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result.”—Mahatma Gandhi
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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