This is not about politics. It is about courtesy and consideration—or simply, acting like an adult.
The media would have us think that going green is about changing light bulbs, driving a Toyota Prius, or shutting down a major power station. Not that these aren’t valid green considerations that may benefit our lives, but first and foremost, thinking green is about noticing and acknowledging that there is someone else in the room.
The conservative senior, Roger Scuton is a prominent writer, professor, and philosopher. His new book is entitled Green Philosophy which posits that the problem with our environment is the direct result of “the loss of equilibrium that ensues when people cease to understand their surroundings as a home.” He believes that we should remember the lessons we taught our small children when we wanted them to learn to fit into the world and become productive, considerate people who would be welcome everywhere. In our homes, we understood the value of being polite, well-mannered, thoughtful, and generous of spirit.
Now, as older Americans we must set the example. If we make a mess, we clean it up; if we break something, we fix it. These rules have always made good sense. They are simple. Basic. And they still hold true.
It can be argued that this view is naïve, that the real world does not support this kind of reasoning. But thinking green really boils down to realizing that we are not the only people in the room.
Laraine Jablon, BA, MA, is a writer specializing in social and health concerns of seniors. She lives in Nesconset, New York, and welcomes your thoughts. Lhjablon@gmail.com