Today is Earth Day. It was born in 1970 at the height of the hippy movement, anti-Vietnam protests and a growing consciousness of pollution, toxic chemicals and the extinction of various animal species. Though it began in the U.S., it is now honored around the world.
What you think of Earth Day, and environmental issues in general, is reflective of your worldview. Nobody can force you to recycle any more than they can convince you to floss everyday. If you don’t have the big picture as to “why?” you couldn’t care less.
I think caring for the earth is a deeply spiritual issue. God gave us this awesome place to live and told us to take care of it. How to do that is an ongoing topic of debate.
Some people think we either can’t hurt the earth, or Jesus is coming back and it’s all going to burn anyway (so why give a shit?). Seriously? Remember what God said after he made the earth? “IT IS GOOD.” That was right before he gave us a mandate to be good caretakers.
The fact is, we’re all connected. What I value and how I live my life affects people and other living things around me. (Trust me, my neighbors who cultivate dandelions, affect my ability to have a nice lawn!)
Our values also affect the earth.
If you don’t believe me, watch some documentaries like, I AM, or spend some time researching mirror neurons or how our HeartMatth literally affects people and things around us.
This stuff explains why some people have a green thumb while others can kill a cactus.
Citizens of western cultures think they’re separate; it’s what we’ve been taught. But both the hard sciences and social sciences are discovering it’s just not true.
What we think, say and do affects everyone and everything around us all the time, whether we’re aware of it or not.
It seems we need to wrestle with how we can personally live responsibly, as well as how humankind can sustain healthy and prosperous societies.
In 1970, the same year Earth Day began, I attended a youth conference in New York City. The motto—proudly displayed on our badges—seems a fitting slogan for today. “Give a Damn.”
“It was easy to love God in all that was beautiful. The lessons of deeper knowledge, though, instructed me to embrace God in all things.” – St Francis of Assisi
For practical tips on how to be more environmentally responsible, see my article: Going Green