Readers responded more thoughtfully and with more variety and sensitivity than I expected when I asked them:
If you care about the environment, what do you think of when you think about caring about it? Some people think of childhood memories, others the Grand Canyon, others fishing, and so on.
Can you email me what caring about the environment makes you think of?
in my post “Do you want to make the world a better place (and yourself)?“, announcing my launching my podcast, Leadership and the Environment.
Here are some of their responses:
To answer your question about the environmentâ€¦
I think mostly of my kids, and their connection to the land. I think about them growing up knowing that we are all interconnected, not only to each other, but to the land. As a student of indigenous wisdom and ways, the land (our planet) is our greatest proof of our interconnectedness.
To me, nature is an education center, a source of awe and wonder, and it contains within it the blueprint of everything. Itâ€™s our teacher and our mother.
If I couldnâ€™t take my kids out and teach them about our planet, Iâ€™d be a bit lost as to how to articulate much of our purpose or meaning of life. We were created to be planetary beings, like a fish is made for water. Itâ€™s part of us. Weâ€™re part of it.
And when I think about my life, thereâ€™s nothing more important to me than my kids. Period. They also represent sort of a micro example of the rest of the world to me. So, their understanding of and emotional connection to our planet, is of utmost importance.
Iâ€˜ll think of it as enjoying nature, being immersed and treating it respectfully.
When I think about caring for the environment, I think of the plastic and electronics found in baby albatross stomachs in the Pacific Gyre:Â http://www.chrisjordan.com/gallery/midway/#CF000313%2018×24 (Chris Jordan also has a new film out about this called Albatross).
Looking forward to your new podcast.
Caring about the environment is about slow, meandering walks through the woods. Patiently waiting for the animals and plants to reveal themselves. It’s about early morning rides out to the park to catch the sun rising over the water and maybe snap a picture of it. It’s about making making tea in the late evening of a snowstorm, it makes no sense to go out and shovel yet, so might just stand here and watch it fall. Caring about the environment is about refreshing the way we look at our world and looking for ways to play with the world. It’s about using empathy and intuition to imagine how animals experience life, how others go through life. It’s about giving your unconscious the idea that you want to feel deeply. It’s about cultivating receptivity, willingness, eagerness.
Looking forward to the podcast!
Urban forests & the likeâ€¦
Looking forward to the first episode.
Exciting news congratulations!!! I wanted to share that when I think of caring for the environment I think of my one year old nieces eyes. You can get lost in these beautiful baby eyes and every time I look in them I think of all the things they will see over the course of her life time and most likely beyond when I am gone. I am committed to making sure those things she sees and experiences are more pleasant than unpleasant.
The moment that I cared most about the environment was the moment that I found I could not breathe, or more precisely, I felt I could hardly breathe. It came maybe five years ago, hours after doing yoga exercises near a huge, open fireplace that had not been used for years. Without realizing it, I was breathing in air that was filled with stuff from the used, burned wood. This is not what “caused” the breathing problems, but it triggered something that had been latent in my lungs for years. I had never smoked, so it was most probably a residue of the air I had breathed in polluted cities, perhaps as a child growing up in Pittsburgh, before smoke control, most likely in Ahmedabad, over the course of many years of visits for research and study. My doctor came to the rescue with a breathable steroid for the lungs called “advair.” Apparently lots and lots of people use it for asthma and various breathing problems. When I asked him for how long I would have to breathe in this steroid for just a moment each evening and morning, he said, “For the rest of your life!” I have never had a repeat occasion, and all is more-or-less well. But that moment — actually it lasted for several days — when I was not sure where my next breath would come from — was the moment when I thought most about the environment.
Good luck with the podcast.
Genuinely excited to listen to your podcast! When I think of the environment, what is most personal to me is food, and how much is wasted…
I was born in Ecuador and know what it’s like to have an empty refrigerator. I never went hungry thanks to my parents’ relentless work ethic, however, I was raised to NEVER throw away or waste any food. That is ingrained in me til this day and feel that many people take food for granted; careless wasting it on a consistent basis. And I’m not even talking about restaurants or corporate halls, I’m referring to everyday practices that could make a difference. Perhaps you can speak on that…
The impact on my health, most notably my vitality and my longevity.
The depletion of exploitable resources concurrently with the accumulation of noxious waste, leading to ever increasing extraction costs.
The impact on people who react by secluding themselves and living in autarchy in small groups, imposing negative externalities, including pollution of many kinds (e.g. air conditioning heats the neighborhood in already hot weather), on people outside of their group.
I am thinking of lush greenery of the past and the barren scotched Earth of the future which we are going to leave for our future generations. I am hoping I am wrong.