Afterword

With all my being, I know that humankind cannot continue behaving as if the world was an infinite reservoir of natural resources that we may do with as we wish, consumed in ever-increasing amounts by an ever-increasing population. One of the things that defines humanity is the dual power of creativity and free will. We have the power to choose wisely or foolishly, but choose we must. To choose to do nothing is still making a choice.

We may choose a planetary future from two paths traveling in opposite directions. We may choose to accept our responsibility in the co-creation of ourselves along with planet Earth-the source of everything around us and everything that we have come to be over the millennia. This type of responsibility requires a fully conscious and compassionate awareness of the consequences of our actions for the long-term health of both the Earth and our humankind.

On the other hand, like lemmings rushing to the ocean, we can proceed toward famines, collapsing ecosystems, wars, and plagues. This is the path of business as usual, waiting for science and technology to come up with solutions, and ultimately suffering the consequences of the collapse of natural systems that took thousands of years or even more to evolve.

Throughout human history, great changes have followed actions that began at a grassroots level before blossoming into large-scale movements. Individuals, households, and communities changed their attitudes and behaviors and made sacrifices

. The choice is ours. For our own sakes and those of our children to the seventh generation and beyond, we must choose a path with a future that we can all look forward to. In the words of Robert Muller, a high-ranking official with the United Nations:

"Nothing but happiness is good enough for the genial and proud human race on planet Earth. Maximum peace, beauty, and happiness and not maximum economic welfare must be the objectives of the coming World Renaissance. The beauty of flowers is due to the care of the gardener. The beauty of the world will depend on the care of its gardeners. Let us therefore all become living gardeners of the world."

__Robert Muller, Assistant to the UN Secretary General (Ret.)