On Every Act the Balance of the Whole Depends

"Do you see, Arren, how an act is not, how young men think, like a rock one picks up and throws, and it hits or misses, and that's the end of it. When that rock is lifted, the earth is lighter; the hand that bears it heavier. When it is thrown, the circuits of the stars respond, and where it strikes or falls the universe is changed. On every act the balance of the whole depends. The winds and seas, the powers of water and earth and light, all that these do, all that the beasts and green things do, is well done and rightly done. All these act within the Equilibrium. From the hurricane and the great whale's sounding to the fall of a dry leaf and a gnat's flight, all they do is done within the balance of the whole. But we, insofar as we have power over the world and over one another, we must learn to do what the leaf and the whale and the wind do of their own nature. We must learn to keep the balance. Having intelligence, we must not act in ignorance. Having choice, we must not act without responsibility."

-Spoken by Sparrowhawk the Archmage of Roke to Prince Arren of Enlad in
Ursula K. LeGuin's "The Farthest Shore"

The Alex Cortes photograph above shows a male Gorgeted puffleg , a hummingbird only discovered by humans in 2005. The Gorgeted puffleg is critically endangered due to habitat loss. The slashing and burning of land for the illegal growing of coca, the raw material in cocaine, is destroying the small area where this puffleg resides.


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