In the beginning – in the early days – they said, “We are making the world better. When we came to this place there was nothing except forest and wild animals and people who ran around naked. We have ended this. We have cut down trees and planted gardens. We have made meadows where we can raise the kind of animals we like. We have taught the naked people how to wear clothing. All this is good! And look at the other things we’ve done! We have dug rivers and brought water into our gardens. We have turned dry canyons into lakes. Now there is more food. Now there can be more people. Now our villages can grow large and rich!”‘After a while they began to notice that the world did not seem to be a better place. Everything seemed smaller and dirtier. Everything was wearing out – the soil, the hills, the rivers and lakes. The people said, “There is nothing new in this. There have always been places where the land is thin and useless. There have always been rivers where the water is not fit to drink. There is no problem.”‘Things kept getting worse. Now the people said, “For everything that is gained, something must be lost. Look at what we have gained! Look at our villages full of big houses! Look at our houses full of many gifts! The forests that are gone have come back to us in gold. The rivers we cannot drink from have become jars full of bara.”‘Finally everything became so bad that no one could come up with anything comforting to say. Then the people said, “Change is impossible. It’s already too late. Anyway, we don’t really mind the way things are.”‘ I paused. ‘Those are the four kinds of lie the people told. “We are making things better.” “There is no problem.” “There are no real gifts.” “It is too late to change.


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