Raw Materials

From time-to-time, something is said that is almost a throwaway line but it can get people thinking. For me, recently, it was “God gave us the raw materials but man knocks them into shape.” Well man, really mankind, sure does a lot of knocking, but into shape?

Like parts of The Bible, perhaps we should not take the quote too literally, but nevertheless it does bear some consideration. God gave us the ability to be creative to have the intelligence, creativity and ambition to knock things into shape but, because he also gave us free will, we also have the ability to be destructive, to knock things out of shape. We must never forget that, what can take days, months, even years to knock into shape can be destroyed in minutes often seconds. We have become much more adept at knocking things ‘out of shape’ or destroying them, than the knocking into shape.

We have made a world of comfort, efficiency and safety, at least for those of us in the ¬†prosperous countries. We have knocked the world into a shape but not its natural shape. We have knocked it into the shape we think it should be but in doing so, we are knocking the balance of nature out of shape. We are consuming, perhaps we might even call it destroying, the world’s natural resources. But worse than just consuming those resources, the way we use them doesn’t just deplete the resources themselves but has a direct, and often measurable, effect on other aspects, often other resources.

Our use of oil, in it’s burning for fuel is polluting, knocking out of shape, our atmosphere. Logging operations, in places like Brazil as just one example, are reducing the natural ability to create oxygen to replace that which is burned with the oil for energy, for our transport and comfort. The globe is warming because we are knocking it out of shape.

There is probably nothing new in anything I have said in this note but perhaps, like me, that short line might make one or two other people have a pause for thought.

God gave us the resources, it is up to us to use them wisely.

“Intelligence is the only unlimited natural resource” (origin unknown)
but, unfortunately, Greed is more powerful than intelligence.


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