In Another Life…..

by George Pletnikoff

December 21, 2008

As many of you know, in another life, I served as a Priest of the Holy Orthodox Church for about twenty years. I was happy. I knew my mission and I wallowed in it. As time went on, I stumbled and fell, behaving in ways unbecoming a person of my position, and so the Holy Synod of Bishops did me a blessing and releaved me of that awesome responsibility. For that love I am grateful. But, this is not what I wanted to talk about.

No matter whom and what we might believe in, either Jesus Christ as the Son of God, Mohammad as a Profit, Moses, or Budda, we all know there is right and wrong at play in this world. There is good and evil. In that line, and for those who will, it is our responsibility to root out evil, or bad, when we know of it. All of us know when that "something" is happening and present. We can sometimes feel it, taste it and know of its works. It is divisive, separating and not caring what it does. It rejoices in greed, division and suffering of others. Simply, evil or bad, celebrates our differences and uses those differences against us. This is common when we speak about resources and those who will take and take without any concern for those who do not have the ability to take advantage of its bounty. 

In our work, it seems, that division is particularly noticeable. We work day in and day out, trying to find a balance between the haves and the have nots. We struggle to make the playing field even for all. And sometimes we falter in our efforts, not because we no longer believe, but because as people we often come up against a brick wall. And we lose hope.  You see, if we do our work with good and pure intentions to right what is wrong, our work will be successful and we will not lose hope. But if we do our work with dark internal intentions of hurting another with a different opinion, we will lose hope and our work will not be good. Oh, we may have some victories, but they will be short lived. What we want to do is right wrongs, do good, and work for that end. Our mission as advocates is to walk a fine line, a sharp edged sword, to fulfill that goal. And it begins with purity of heart. I am doing this because it is right and for no other reason. If we save one species of plant or animal from extinction and have not a pure heart, our work is for naught. Examples abound. I with my work with the North Pacific Fishery Management Council, others with climate change and forests and whales. We can only succeed with purity of mind and heart. Our reasons and efforts must be to teach and help others understand what is right and good. As my friend reminded me not too long ago, this kind of work will take time. I cried at those words because I had forgotten my mission. 

I know there are many who will "spin" this with thoughts and better arguments. I am not trying to convince you of my beliefs. I am simply asking that we think about this. This is not to say that I think we are doing otherwise, nor focusing on something I see we are either doing or not. Just saying something. Something to think about, because I do know, if what we do is not without truth and honesty, no matter what we do it will not work. 

As the season of peace and love draws and the promises of a new year appear, the promise of a new administration offer us hope, let us renew our efforts to work with honesty and truthfulness. Only in this way will we have any real success.








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