What in the world is a surfer to do? It can be depressing to think about one in every four species of mammals facing extinction today. Mammals are not the only life forms quickly disappearing from the face of the earth. One in eight bird species faces extinction. Plants and insects, which also play a vital part in maintaining ecological balance, are also disappearing at alarming rates.
Something that is unfortunately not disappearing is poverty. Poverty has ruined more lives and caused more pain than many life-threatening diseases. It also robs the world of talent that will never ever have a chance to bloom. Does the world miss out every time an inspiring song is not sung, an enlightening book goes unwritten or a stirring movie isn’t produced? Foreclosures are at an all time high and, just like poverty, not likely to disappear any time soon.
What happened to the American dream? Where are all these families that are losing their homes supposed to go? From the capitalistic point of view, maybe foreclosures are not such a bad thing after all. Somebody must be making a buck. This is America, where most everything is for sale. As ironic and sad as it is, people can make a buck off poverty.
All the money in the world still can’t buy the waves - at least yet. But nothing can stop someone or something from purchasing the land in front of the waves and preventing others from access. A famous musician purchased beach-front property on the island of Maui. When he moved in, he put up no trespassing signs and a fence to prevent long time local’s from using the beach access the former owner had allowed for decades. The locals were not happy.
The musician bought the property and should have been entitled to his privacy. At the same time, the locals should have been allowed to use what they had used all their lives. Sometimes, it’s tough to draw a line between the rights of an individual and the collective whole. Sometimes just because something is legal, doesn’t make it moral. Individual rights should be good for all individuals to be truly right. If what someone says or does impacts others in any negative way, it’s usually not right. If what a person says or does impacts others in a positive way, it’s more than likely right.
All said and done, no matter how high the price that beach-front land goes up in dollars, it will still not be enough. Beach-front property is priceless.
The price we are paying for land is much higher than dollars and cents: It’s paid with lives. Mammals, birds, plants and bugs are in jeopardy of nonexistence. They cannot afford to live on the land and have no place left to go. An old surfers’ saying goes, “When the bottom falls out, the top goes right along with it.”
If the natural inhabitants cannot afford to live on the land, how much longer will mankind? Somehow we have to do something different and positive to keep the kingdom alive. What’s a surfer to do? All he can - the best he can, with what he can, when and where he can. Aloha.