I’m still struggling through Laudato Si it just seem to constantly remind me of Walden, a book I struggled to read in college. Both are very dense works and you need to be in that mindset to read either one. It’s that the basic ideas are pretty simple and it’s like common sense to do some of the things, but they both talk about them in huge terms. With Walden, the thing that really gets me is that to escape into nature Thoreau goes to a lake like a mile from people, although it is on Emerson’s property and that’s escaping to nature. Pope Francis on the other hand doesn’t really say that we should retreat back to nature but he is really echoing one of the first commandments in the Bible to be stewards of the earth.
One idea that I really like from both is that as Thoreau puts it “One generation abandons the enterprises of another like stranded vessels” Pope Francis talks about this as our throw away culture. Nothing is of any permanence in the world today, it’s here today and gone tomorrow. We do this with people, places and things (all types of nouns), this is especially true in America just look at buildings we tear down building and build them up just as fast replacing green spaces with concrete and asphalt. Then the things we do to people are even worse at University it was pretty simple interacting with friends as we all live within a three mile radius but growing up we’ve all moved to places across the globe, sure Facebook and other forms of technology can help but how often are we chatting up with friends from decades past over Facebook. At the office it’s about the same we see who can help us get to where we want and don’t care about consequences. In the community this is about the same how often do we care what other people are doing especially the elderly, the young, the homeless and the poor it’s like they don’t really exist in society.