Conservation: (n) the action of conserving something
There are many noble causes, but each is ill-served by advocates who are bratty and self-righteous.
I am more than willing to listen to anyone explain the importance of a rain forest or even why it is good to keep the glaciers frozen. What I will not tolerate is an individual who thinks I am ignorant because I don’t already know it, or judges my reaction as being insufficient to the need.
It is actually quite possible to plant more trees without hugging the existing ones.
It is certainly powerful to enjoy Christmas without insisting that everyone react to it and celebrate it exactly the same way you do.
Conservation always puts our eyes too much on the affairs and lifestyle of others. We begin to believe that our cause is so significant that anyone who might suggest we are a trifle overwrought is an enemy of life or God.
Here is the perspective, and order of importance, for Planet Earth:
And video games (I’m just trying to gear this to the Millennials.)
To anyone under the age of thirty, the word “cluster” is mentally followed by “fuck.”
To anyone over the age of thirty, that particular interpretation may be bumped by the consideration of peanut or almond candy.
Because I’m writing and interacting with people of all ages, I must be careful not to use words like “cluster.”
A “cluster of ideas,” which might be included in one of my essays, would cause the millennials to giggle, and those older folks to salivate for chocolate.
Some words have worn out their usefulness, or have been so tainted or tinted that they cannot be slid into normal conversation.
Such is the word cluster.
So even though I may be tempted to refer to a “cluster of activities” or a “cluster of problems” or a “cluster of opportunities,” I must catch myself–because cluster has already established its mission and is not allowed to take on any new significance.