This I Believe

Carol - Honaunau, Hawaii
Entered on January 7, 2007

I Believe In Penguins and Polar Bears

A contest invites people to write about the dangers of global warming, and I think this is silly, because the dangers are so obvious. We humans could end up living in a world with no penguins or polar bears. Personally, this is not a world in which I would choose to live.

It might seem as if I have no choice. World events can easily appear to be beyond the control of any one person. But I know I can control the events in my own heart, because I believe in Sasha’s dream.

Sasha told her dream to a gathering of animal rescue workers. Like everyone else in the room, she had often experienced deep feelings of grief and hopelessness because of the overwhelming numbers of abused and abandoned animals that needed her help. Then one night, she had a dream.

A polar bear came to Sasha, offering words of profound wisdom. Don’t think of how violent and cruel the world is, he told her. Don’t think of all the animals you can’t save. Rather, make a place in your heart of beauty and peace. Put all the animals who need help into your heart, and gently hold them there. We don’t need your sadness and your tears, said the polar bear. We need your light and your love.

I believe this was more than a dream. This was Truth. Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with God’s love in my heart. It doesn’t matter which God, for all roads lead home and home is, after all, where the heart is.

Whenever I find myself slipping into sadness, fear or anger about what is going on in the world, I remind myself of Sasha’s dream. I breathe deeply and feel within me a peaceable kingdom where all live in light and love. I see polar bear cubs cuddling against their mother’s warm fur. I hear the click-clack of penguin feet marching across the solid ice. And I am at peace.

I believe we all live in an infinite Universe overflowing with more possibilities than even the most sophisticated computer model could ever begin to calculate. Then it is more than possible that penguins and polar bears can live happily ever after in their beautiful world of ice and snow.

It starts with one person choosing peace over grief. But peace is like a cool breeze that doesn’t stop at one person. It flows over us all, if we would but open our hearts to it.

I don’t know how we’re going to stop global warming, and fix all the other problems in the world, but I no longer feel hopeless. I believe in penguins and polar bears and the tremendous power of the divine human heart to create miracles.