You may wonder how Earth Day could be a bad thing. After all, it’s an entire day devoted to honoring, appreciating, and celebrating the Earth, right? An entire day devoted to getting the message out that the environment needs help and we humans have responsibilities to said ailing environment.
Sounds great. And it is a great idea. But I also find it disappointing that we still have a need for Earth Day. The commemorative day has been around since 1970. This is 2012. That’s 42 years of environmental advocacy, environmental messages, and creation of a heightened awareness of environmental problems. Yet even after 42 years, Earth Day is as necessary as ever before in getting the message across that we all need to be aware of how we treat the world around us, whether we’re Pagans or non-Pagans.
This is why it’s disappointing to me. It’s as if we’re saying that it’s OK to do something so important for one day and then go back to living our lives in unsustainable ways for the other 364 days of the year. Yes, it’s grand in that the day does serve to bring a reminder to those who may have slipped up, but at the same time, why is it still necessary to have this day? Shouldn’t we by now have figured it out that we can’t continue the way we are? Shouldn’t we honor and respect the Earth for 365 days of the year and not just one?
I have the same kind of issue with Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc. They’re meant to show appreciation for the special people in your life–but shouldn’t you do that a lot more often than one day? And yet, many people will only show appreciation or do something special on the day they’re “supposed to” do it. (I should also mention that I don’t count birthdays in the count of number of days you show appreciation–birthdays should always be a given, in my mind, and are a different category altogether.) I understand that these days can have special meaning and significance even when you do show appreciation throughout the year, and that’s a wonderful thing. Mother’s Day is still special to my mom even though my sister and I show appreciation more than one or twice a year. Valentine’s Day is important to me at this time only because I’ve never experienced it and I would like to. And Mother’s Day and Father’s Day don’t really have particular importance to me personally because I am neither–but I understand that they are important days to my parents.
So these special days can have significance and be special even though you show appreciation or honor the subject of the day throughout the year. But it is sad and disappointing for a person or thing to be important for only one day of the year.
Truly walking a Pagan path, regardless of your specialty or preference or brand of Pagan, is so much more than honoring the Earth for only one day.