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Readings: Co-operation

The reading I have chosen is from the Jewish Declaration on Nature from the meeting together of the leaders of world faiths in Assissi in 1986.

At the very beginning of time humankind accepted responsibility before God for all creation.

Humankind was commanded to behave towards the rest of creation with justice and compassion.

Humanity lives always in tension between its power and the limit set by conscience.

Some twenty centuries ago they told a story of two men who were out on the water in a rowing boat.

Suddenly one of them started to saw through the wood under his feet.

He maintained that it was his right to do whatever he wished with the place that belonged to him.

The other answered him that they were in the rowing boat together; the hole that he was making would sink both of them.

We have a responsibility to life, to defend it everywhere, not only against our own sins but also against those of others.

We are all passengers together in this same fragile and glorious world.

Let us safeguard our rowing boat - and let us row together.

(Palmer, M et al, ed., Faith and Nature, 68-69)