This Earth Day reminds us that we live on ONE planet with each other as members of the human race sharing the human experience. The universality of this experience transcends our life circumstances. We ALL feel grief, sorrow, pain and isolation at times while experiencing great joy, pride, bliss, accomplishment and hope at others. There is a range of human emotion which allows scientists in the field of psychology to study human behavior and how this behavior impacts others and ourselves. As a mental health and wellness practitioner, I am charged with translating that knowledge into useful action to increase compassion and resilience in myself and others.
This Earth Day we reflect on the tragedies of last week and the collective fear, anger and relief of a community in Boston but we also can reflect on the experiences of others across our planet who are not yet able to breathe this sigh of relief of a terrorist or attacker within their midst. This interconnectedness and humanistic way of thinking allows us to pause and go beyond ourselves to increase our compassion.
By increasing our compassion for others, we build our own resilience in the face of personal danger, tragedy and attack for we cannot draw from an empty well. As I have said before resilience is the single greatest predictor of success and life satisfaction. If you can have compassion for another you are already in a fortunate position that costs nothing. Compassion is always free.
Compassion for Mother Earth means respecting our natural resources and living mindfully. When we tread lightly upon the earth we are using what we have in its highest and best form. We are not wasting; we are making wise decisions realizing that that we share this ONE beautiful Earth and all her bounty. You don't have to be a super recycler, vegan earth shoe wearer if you don't want to be. You don't have to plant trees if you don't want to. You don't even have to bike/ walk to work if you can't but the very act of increasing your state of awareness of how our individual actions impact others and our planet means that you are one step closer to that universal sense of connection that we all need to survive together.
Let's survive together, shall we?