Let us act out of love and compassion when we are contemplating ecological initiatives. Much of our current ecological discourse is based on fear and anxiety. Let us change that focus to love for the Earth our mother, and kindness for her creatures. Acts based on positive feelings are more likely to bring positive results.
We give our mother a haircut when we mow the lawn, and it is her beauty we admire when we look at a flower. Even our love for our life partner or for our children is in part love for the Earth—we are all made of the same elements as the Earth. Let us be Earth-centred in our thinking and in our behaviour—being “Earth-centred” is already a plan of action.
Here are two examples:
When driving, ecology is every drop of gas.
Start your car journey by slowly singing “Row, row, row your boat” to these words:
Roll, roll, roll along, gently down the street,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, this drive is a treat.
Driving up a road, riding down a lane,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.
Lightly, like a kite, let your spirits lift,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, each day is a gift,
Comfy in your seat, as you make your way,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, have a pleasant day.
Then, drive ecologically as well as safely. Start the trip a few minutes earlier than usual so you can use less gas by driving mindfully. Can we be mindful that those pedals on the floor not only make the car go and stop, but also contribute to smog and oil spills?
We can act on our love for our children by leaving them a less polluted world.
When washing dishes, ecology is every drop of water.
Can we wash our dishes lovingly and with care, taking care not only to clean them, but also to use as little soap and water as possible? Can we use cold water more often? Can we wash dishes with all our attention instead of while thinking of other things?
Most of the pollution that threatens to ruin our planet comes not from things that truly add to our quality of life, but from our lack of mindfulness and love.
Here is a song (click here for mp3) based on a Thich Nhat Hanh calligraphy, REVERENCE IS THE NATURE OF MY LOVE. It is beautifully sung by Emily King, and is part of the Basket of Plums collection available from Parallax Press. Learn it by heart, and sing it to yourself often. It will slowly influence the way you do things:
Reverence is the nature of my love, my love,
Reverence is the nature of my love.
I bow to the bushes, I bow to the flowers,
I bow to the singing birds in the trees,
I bow to the mountains, I bow to the rivers,
I bow to the dancing bees.