To protect the planet we must first fall in love.
When we hear the word “environment,” we unconsciously picture ourselves apart from it, rather than a part of it. What would change if we viewed ourselves as an important, vital part of this living, interconnected, planet unlike any other place in the universe?
In his book Love Letter to the Earth Thich Nhat Hanh describes a viewpoint I had never considered before. He suggests that when we say we want to protect the environment, we are setting ourselves up as separate from the earth rather than an integral part of it. This attitude makes the task of protecting the planet a lot harder. He presents a different approach: that if we are to address the serious challenges presenting our world effectively, the first thing we must heal is our perspective.
Think about it. Making choices to live thoughtfully is difficult, especially in the midst of busy schedules and our consumeristic culture. But if we approach our days with a mindful attitude of deep love and gratitude for the breathtaking beauty of the earth - of which we are a part! - then making decisions to be thoughtful can come from a place of love rather than a place of guilt. What a relief.
Being an everyday activist for the earth looks different for everyone, and even for the same person it can look different every day.
Today, for me, it looks like a slow, mindful walk through my neighborhood, noticing the birdsong, the flowers, the wind, the smells of lilacs, the stubborn and hearty plants that come up through cracks in the sidewalks, the smell of earth, the hope that the seeds I plant today will bring the sweet taste of vegetables come summer.
When I fall in love again with earth, the hard work of making a difference becomes so much easier.
Today, on this glorious spring morning, I commit to falling in love with our beautiful planet yet again. April 22 is Earth Day. How does celebrating Earth Day everyday look for you?
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