Solitude of the cemetery; a place for soul-searching


We’re all transients here and have limited time to make a difference.

Since moving to Stamford, Connecticut a few months ago, one of my favorite walking routes is through the nearby Woodland Cemetery in my neighborhood of Harbor Point.

I snapped this photo two months ago in Woodlawn Cemetery.

I snapped this photo two months ago in Woodlawn Cemetery.

Occasionally, I stop and read the names and dates on the markers. Yesterday, I examined the markers of a couple who died in their seventies in 1995 and 2000 respectively. Each marker contained the deceased’s name along with the spouse’s name beneath. That is when I was inspired to write this blog.

My informal survey in the cemetery over the past few months indicates that the vast majority of people around here die in their seventies or younger, with only twenty percent living into their eighties or beyond. Turning 69 in a few weeks, that got me to thinking.

Life is fleeting. In another fifty years, with the exception of my grandchildren, almost everyone that I know today will be dead. That includes the rich, the famous and the powerful—all of them. None of us are getting out of here alive. But what about my six grandchildren?

Three boys and three girls: Peyton, Collin, Andrew, Cooper, Violet and Evelyn (due on February 18)

God willing, they should all be alive fifty years from now and very well may make it to 2100 or beyond. And what kind of life will they have? Unless many deadly trends get reversed in the next five or ten years, it saddens me to think about the extreme hardships they may have to endure. As such, I am committed to doing all that I can to ensure that they will enjoy the rich quality of life that I have enjoyed for all of my years on this planet.

The Woodland Cemetery in my Harbor Point neighborhood.

The Woodland Cemetery keeps reminding me that none of us are getting out of here alive.

A little background. In July of 2012, an article about global warming in the New York Times caught my attention (link below). In it, Mark Bittman described how it was now almost certain that parts of every coastal city in the world (where 70% of humans live) will be underwater by the year 2100. And it gets more certain every single day that we don’t start taking unprecedented, RADICAL measures to mitigate the worst effects of climate change before it’s too late.

Global warming could be the single biggest problem ever faced by the human species.

Global warming could be the single biggest problem ever faced by the human species. This is the photo that appeared with that article.

That article got me to thinking, “My grandchildren will probably still be alive in 2100.” And that sobering realization inspired me to write the blog entitled Forget saving the planet. Think great grandchildren (Link below).

Since then, I have written many blogs about sustainability, always making the point that we can forget “saving the planet;” she’s seen mass extinctions before and will be just fine. It’s our civilization and our future as a species that are in jeopardy.

My Challenge to You. Do your own homework until you are among the most “environmentally aware” people in your community. And that means making sure that you learn about the number one driver of global warming—something you won’t learn from your favorite environmental group that you’ve been supporting for the last twenty years. Check out all the links posted below; then do your own research and determine if you think I’m right about the most important topic (BY FAR) in the history of humankind. 

Why don’t the environmental biggies tell us the truth about global warming? Because the number one driver is our massive appetite for animal based foods—and it would be a “political loser” for your favorite environmental group to be perceived by their membership as being “anti meat.” As Michael Pollan said in a recent interview (See Titanic blog below), “It would hurt with their fundraising.”

GreenPeace and the Sierra Club, with millions of supporters, are just two of the large groups not telling us the truth about the environmental impacts of our food choices.

I am not picking on this one; the fact is that NONE of the large environmental groups are telling us the truth.

Personally, I find this bit of information disgusting, disgraceful and possibly fraudulent. The giant organizations that we support with our money and depend on to protect our environment—are not even telling us how we can easily avoid the worst disasters in the 200,000-year history of humankind.

Because it might hurt their fundraising, they choose NOT to tell us that all we have to do is change what we eat—to save our planet, our civilization and ultimately, humankind.

A fable of lost opportunity. Once you learn the truth about global warming and many other impending global disasters—that are driven by our food choices— you will know what to do. But will you have the courage to do it? Maybe this little fable that takes place fifty years from now will help you decide.

February 5, 2064 — Holden, MA. The six grandchildren of deceased sustainability writer and activist, J. Morris Hicks, all got together here recently for a family reunion. Most of them were not in very good shape; they all began to lack adequate clothing, shelter, food and water several years ago, but they have all managed to stay alive; the oldest now 63.

You see, the world began to feel the worst effects of global warming and water scarcity about ten years ago and things started to change very quickly. Entire nations were submerged, leaving their millions of people to become climate migrants and invade other countries—and that’s just a tiny glimpse of the unprecedented suffering most humans are now facing everyday. Not a single one of Hicks’s family is living a joyous and satisfying life these days.

One night, his oldest grandson, Collin (now 62), asked why this all had to happen and whether his parents and grandparents could have done anything to prevent the end of the modern civilization and quality of life that they all enjoyed themselves.

"If we eat the way that promotes the best health for ourselves, we also promote the best health for the planet." ---T. Colin Campbell, PhD

GranBuddy always said, “It’s like a blinding flash of the obvious, we’re eating the wrong food.”

One of his granddaughters, Violet (54), chimed in and said, “GranBuddy and Uncle Jason knew exactly what was about to happen and even wrote about it in this old book that I found in my mom’s attic last year while I was looking for old photos. I also found this copy of a blog he wrote about us fifty years ago today.”

“Apparently GranBuddy spent his final years writing and speaking about this topic until he died at the ripe old age of 105 in 2050. I guess not enough people listened to him.”

Note: I should point out that the Hicks grandchildren have fared no worse than most in the USA. Further, the collapse of civilizations around the world in recent years has been suffered mightily by billions of people, the super wealthy and the poor alike. As we have learned in recent years, when your civilization collapses, money doesn’t mean anything.

The Bottom Line. Here’s a question to ponder—one that people may ask your grandchildren at the memorial service following your death.

We have heard that, long before he died, your grandfather knew all about how the world could take decisive steps to avoid the worst effects of global warming, water scarcity, soil erosion and deforestation.

We also heard that he was a man of great means, yet he chose not do everything within his power to awaken the unsuspecting public who were never told that they could save their civilization by simply changing what they were eating.

So, here’s my question. If all that is true, why did he not tell the world the simple truth that we needed to save ourselves—while there was still enough time to make a difference?

Thirty years from now, will your grandchildren be able to say that YOU knew and that YOU did everything in your power to make things right for their future?

My three grandsons at Boston's famous Fenway Park -- Collin (10) Cooper (8) and Andrew (9). It was Cooper's very first trip to this legendary ballpark.

All I’ve got to say is this—DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN—my three grandsons at Fenway Park

Handy 5-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com

Why should we be eating mostly plants? The “big picture” in 4 minutes.

Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Survey. It takes 2 or 3 minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to jmorrishicks@me.com

International. We’re now reaching people in over 100 countries. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or get daily blog notices by “following” us in the top of the right-hand column. For occasional updates, join our periodic mailing list.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now

For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, visit our 4Leaf page and also enjoy some great recipes from Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.

Got a question? Let me hear from you at jmorrishicks@me.com. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.

SHARE and rate this post below.

—J. Morris Hicks, board member since 2012; click banner for more info:

Nutrition Certificate

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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2 Responses to Solitude of the cemetery; a place for soul-searching

  1. Jim,

    This is so insightful, so personal. The best I have ever seen on this topic.

    I have always tried hard to write whatever I write as if the whole world might read it. If I make mistakes, no matter. I’ll just try to do better the next time.

    Colin

  2. Joanne Irwin says:

    You have a beautiful family, Jim. The cemetery trek provided, once again, a reality check of what we, humans, are experiencing and, tragically, creating. We can all do our parts to awaken ourselves through reading and education, awakening our families, so they can make the necessary changes, and then bringing that awareness and science to the wider communities. God-willing, we will put the brakes on and reverse the current course – a path to destruction.
    Your grandchildren must be very proud of their GranBuddy!

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