everyone in the path
for the Supersized SUV
barreling down the road
Birds’ skulls crack against the windshield
Turtles crunch under the tires
Exhaust fumes linger
permeating lungs and trees
the surface of the earth
And the damage dissipates
There’s plenty of birds
Plenty of turtles
The waterways are clean enough
for the fortunate
in the fortunate areas
No need for change under the bubble of protection
reserved for the favored few
joyously driving steel beasts further down the road
further from the truth
and straight into a nice bubble
where the gates of entry
create a wall
a trail of destruction
Copyright © Christina Lynn Lambert 2018
When I wrote this poem (or whatever you want to call it), I was thinking about the whole ripple effect concept. That trashing the environment can provide companies with a gain in the short term. Their legal ability to ruin an area, especially an area where people are less able to fight back (because that’s just easier for a hungry corporation) in the name of building more factories, making more stuff, using less efficient and dirtier forms of energy, hurts people in the long run. Many companies couldn’t care less about the air people breathe or the health of people’s future grandchildren. They care if their shareholders are satisfied with current and projected financial growth and product/service distribution paths. A company cares about it’s survival. Only.
Yeah, a lot of people are greedy. They have what they need and they’ll tear apart our futures to keep their companies and their bank accounts prospering. So we’re all doomed, right? I try not to be a “the glass is already half empty and soon everything will be gone” kind of gal. Is Karma coming for people who treat others like trash? I don’t think it works that way.
Waiting at a stop light the other day, I saw this big SUV tearing through a red light, as if the driver’s destination was more important than anybody else’s destination. They were in a hurry and the rest of the world needed to get out of their way! Everybody’s life gets crazy every now and then. It’s hard not to get caught up trying to survive and make it through daily life, trying to find a way to come out ahead.
When I find myself becoming the proverbial SUV barreling through the world, I try to take a big step back and remember that there’s a lot of stuff that just isn’t that important. It’s the people, the experiences – traveling, learning about different cultures, learning what amazing things we are capable of when we thought we couldn’t take another step or deal with another problem; those are the things that matter. If a few things on my list don’t get done, some deadlines get pushed back, my house stays a mess, and I make a stop at the drive through for dinner on occasion, the world won’t end.
Finding the good moments and the people who make the bad times worth living through is more important than having the biggest house, the sweetest car, billionaire status. As for the companies who don’t care if they barrel over us- they don’t expect a fight. By ourselves, we can’t directly control what havoc a greedy company wreaks upon a forest and water system, or what damage its products do to users. Standing together we have a chance. We can be more than just enraged, we can have power. Even something as simple as refusing to buy a product from a company that sells an unsafe product, spreads a hate message, or pollutes a river, might start out as a pebble in the water but can eventually turn the tide.