Each of us can contribute to the health of our planet and make it a better place to live.
What is needed on our part is the capacity for listening to what the earth is telling us.
~Thomas Berry - The Dream of the Earth~
Some people realize and accept that they are part of the world community. Others think that the only things important in the universe are those within the borders of their own skin.
I remember a Dr. Seuss story called Horton Hears a Who. My lesson was that there exist larger and smaller planes of existence than the human one. We just don’t pay much attention to them. We gain some perspective on our own level of existence by peering through a microscope or telescope.
I recall Father Augustine Hennessy discussing marriage as never being static. It is either growing or dying depending on how much care it receives from the spouses involved.
I think the same is true of the earth. How we live on our planet helps it to blossom or wilt. Like a plant, the earth flourishes when we take care of it and starts to die when we ignore or abuse it. We can tend it as a beloved garden or let (or even help) it become a wasteland.
The earth reacts to stress just like we do. Its equilibrium becomes off kilter and it becomes an unstable place to live. Polluting its atmosphere, oceans and natural habitats make it harder for the earth’s inhabitants to thrive. Being careless with our earth lessens its ability to provide an environment supporting life as we know it.
We are beginning to see what it would take to keep our earth healthy and some of the changes required of us. But to do what must be done costs money as well as changing how we live. We are left with the choice of pillaging our planet or investing in its future for the sake of our descendants.
The more money people have, they more they tend to want to cling to it and save it for themselves and leave it to their descendants rather than a healthy earth. Of course not all wealthy people are that selfish.
No one individual can save or destroy the earth. Regardless of our degree of wealth, each of us can contribute to the health of our planet and make it a better place for us all to live. Working together we can also leave a living legacy for those who follow in our footsteps.
We have choices to make everyday. Some of them affect just our own lives. Some affect a few people around us. Others have varying effects on all of us. Sometimes the effects are hard to see. If you throw one little piece of trash on the floor of your house, it might be unsightly, but does not make a great deal of difference. If you do it every day, and so does everyone else who enters your house, soon you will have a trash heap rather than a home. The same goes for the earth.
Life Lab Lessons
• Think of the earth as your home.
• Care for it the way you would your home.
• Encourage those living with you on the earth to help care for it.
• Get to know the earth and what it needs.
• Take pride in your global home.