Gray and green

A recent children's book tells a tale of two islands: Graynel and Greenel. By the end of the story Greenel is thriving and surviving because of its love and respect for life. But Graynel has sunk to the bottom of the ocean under the weight of a relentless buildup of materialism. Ivan Gantschev, Two Islands (Boston: Picture Book Studio, 1985).

Interestingly, a renowned physicist, Freeman Dyson, shares some similar thoughts in his book Disturbing the Universe. "In everything we undertake either on earth or in the sky," he says, "we have a choice of two styles, which I call the gray and the green." Disturbing the Universe (New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1981), p. 227. By "gray" he apparently means a kind of flat, self-interested, negative, "taking" approach. By "green," on the other hand, he means something that is "giving," something that respects people and nature, and enriches rather than depletes.

The Almighty
January 16, 1989

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