“Hi Roxie. What’s going on?”
Roxie was chuckling as she read from a list on a piece of paper. “I thought canines were the only species, other than humans, who say funny things. I’ve discovered that the species ursinae, bears, has a sense of humor too. Just listen to these.” ‘Never answer an anonymous letter. The future ain’ t what it used to be. You should always go to other’s funerals, otherwise, they won’t come to yours. Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical. He hits from both sides of he plate; he’s amphibious.”
“Wait a minute Roxie. Are you sure a bear said those things?”
“Yep, though the bear does have a strange name, Yogi.”
“Oh, I hate to tell you. Yogi was a human. His real name was Lawrence Peter Berra. Yogi was a nickname. He is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame as a player and coach.”
“I guess that explains his quotes about baseball.”
“Yep. However, Yogi’s humor has some wisdom in it. I’ve used one of his quotes in helping organizations plan. Yogi once said, ‘If you get to a fork in the road, take it and you could wind up where you don’t want to go and not even know it.’
“That is wise. I guess if you don’t plan, you’ll take off in any direction, whether it is the best direction or not.”
“You’ve got it. Without strategic (long term) planning, we can wind up in trouble. Most organizations, government, non-profits, businesses, churches, ... think tactically (short term) and not strategically. We plan for next week, maybe next year, but rarely ten or twenty or a hundred years from now. In the public arena, unfortunately, the planning often goes from election to election.”
“Jim this is deep stuff. Wait a minute, let me go get my human watching notebook. I need to write this down.” Roxie took off and was back in a flash. When she wants to, Roxie can really move.
“Okay Jim. I’m ready can you give me an example of how humans are in need of strategic planning?” “Sure, One jumps right up to the top of the list. The heating of the planet. Increasingly, science is clear, the earth is moving towards a climate crisis. Credible organizations like the Pentagon and NASA, have published alarming reports detailing how the Earth has heated. This heating is causing flooding, dislocation of populations, intensified weather,... It hits close to home. A recent study by the Massachusetts of Technology (I refer to MIT as the Ga Tech of New England) details how dangerous hurricanes are going to be more frequent and more intense. The cause of this threat is the heating of the Earth and its oceans leading to tropical conditions moving north. In turn, the cause of the heating of the earth is human made emissions, primarily the burning of fossil fuel. Another recent scientific finding is that we have probably 12 years to do something about the situation before we reach a point of no return.”
“Jim. that is scary. It is going to take a lot of long term planning to move us away from fossil fuel.If I had one gift to give to you humans, it would be to think and act long term until plans are in place to answer the climate crisis. I just hope that you humans get your act together before it is too late.”
“I hope so too. We have to begin now and it is going to take leadership from all sector of society. I think we have a chance to turn it around. Remember Yogi also said, “It ain’t over until it’s over.”
“Amen, Jim. Time for happy hour. Let us drink to that.”
The Rev. Dr. Jim Watkins and Roxie live in Pawleys Island.