Wisdom From an Elder on Earth Day



We are the planet’s most recent iteration of life’s forms, an infant species but one that has the precocity to see our place in the cosmos and dream of worlds yet to come.

David Suzuki by Brendon Purdy

Pondering the End
Taken from The David Suzuki Reader

I am uplifted by the amazing story emerging from modern science. It tells us that from the moment after the Big Bang, as matter spewed forth in an expanding universe, every particle exerted a pull on every other particle. The universe is not mostly empty space; it is filled with evanescent tendrils of attraction that some believe is the foundation of love, and that attraction is built into the very fabric of the cosmos.

Science informs us that far, far away from the center of the universe, out in the cosmic boondocks, is an undistinguished galaxy—the Milky Way. And among the billions of stars in that galaxy, our sun is a very ordinary one. And on its third planet—Earth—a mere speck in the heavens, life arose in the last quarter of the cosmos’s existence.

And in the very last moment of time, something astonishing happened. A creature emerged from nature endowed with self-awareness, dazzling creativity, and a capacity for love and wonder. Gazing out at a chaotic world, that animal imposed order and meaning in myriad forms and brought humanity to prominence in a cosmic instant. But in a moment of explosive change, we lost our way, forgot the narrative that reminded us of who we are, why we are here, and where we belong.

We are the planet’s most recent iteration of life’s forms, an infant species but one that has the precocity to see our place in the cosmos and dream of worlds yet to come. I believe we are capable of even greater things, to rediscover our home, to find ways to live in balance with the sacred elements, and to create a future rich in the joy, happiness, and meaning that are our real wealth.

I will die before my grandchildren become mature adults and have their own children, but I am filled with hope to imagine their future rich in opportunity, beauty, wonder, and companionship with the rest of Creation. All it takes is the imagination to dream it and the will to make the dream reality.


David Suzuki’s new book, Letters to My Grandchildren, is available to pre-order. Pre-order before May 1st and receive a special bonus package.
David Suzuki’s Letters to My Grandchildren tour begins May 27th.
(Header photo credit: Brendon Purdy/brendonpurdy.com)


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