The Big Picture by Paul Berland

Hello fellow Illinois dwellers!  As I write this, I am sitting outside on a cool late morning and the weather is perfect.  A cool breeze softens the warm sun’s pleasant caress and leaves waves of cool and warm sensations running down the back of my neck.

Who am I?  If there was one word to describe me, I would call myself an artist.  I do not have any children but the various art works that I have made are my precious jewels that I uniquely call my own and of which I hope they survive into the future.  Also, these days, I consider all the people around me as part of my extended family and I sincerely enjoy their company and hope that they will survive for thousands of generations to come.

What concerns me?  It is the disregard for the future exhibited by the big corporations and certain big people with a lot of money and power.  It boggles my mind their blatant disregard for the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we live on with their policies of making a quick buck off of the resources at hand.  I feel any usage of natural resources should be done with careful consideration of how this will impact our future.

I think of the many children playing here nearby in Festival Park. These children play many fun games with the big stone and metal mounds and spouts of water.  The children spend hours playing with the simplest of features of the park.  It is a great joy to watch the children as they make up games and friendships in the park.  As they do this, they have no knowledge of the possible threats to their environment.  They are lovingly relying on us to protect and preserve the environment and so that it is there for them as they grow up and live their lives.

It makes me sad that I feel there is very little that I can do to try to save these wonderful things such as clean air, clean water, and a healthy and not too hot environment for future generations of innocent and lovely beings.

I am also concerned that civilization may become very hard-pressed to carry on in the face of all the threats to the natural landscape.  That is why I put hope in SOIL, Save Our Illinois Land, and invest time in this organization because I feel they have a real plan and method to protect some of this land and water for future generations.

If we can protect the Mother Earth that feeds and protects us, then it can in turn protect our art and our children for future generations.  I cannot imagine anything more important than that.

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