Happy Earth Day, Earthlings

Since my first Earth Day march at age 7, I have participated in countless demonstrations, protests, and petitions against various environmental foes. I have dodged rubber bullets, been tear-gassed, and narrowly escaped incarceration on several occasions. I have toured with David Suzuki, rallying and speaking about the importance of ecological sustainability at universities across Canada. Throughout my life as an activist, I have also seen countless people lose themselves in frustration and rage. I have been there too, and I understand that there are many issues to rage over, especially on this Earth Day; the first since Canada pulled out of the Kyoto Agreement.

However, after all my protesting and picketing, I have come to believe the way to instil change and to safeguard our beautiful planet is to elevate our consciousness from anger to love. I don’t mean to sound hippy-dippy. But humans are best motivated by love and appreciation rather than by fear and anger. When we begin to appreciate nature’s miracles, like spring tulips pushing through the snow or whales surfacing for air in the St Laurence estuary, protecting our Earth’s majestic landscapes and its resources becomes instinctual.

I have a theory: Children are generally more keen to protect the environment then adults because they play outdoors and they live in the moment. They observe the magic of nature all the time. They climb trees and watch the wind blow through the leaves. They build forts in rock piles. They make cakes and castles out of mud.

But as children grow up, they become time sensitive. They climb social ladders, watch “realty” on TV, build Facebook profiles and make sales. Their hours are spent indoors, and so, they begin to forget how beautiful shooting stars look from a rooftop blanket.

Just it as the smog in the sky has made it difficult to see stars at night, so has smog in our minds made it difficult to see the beauty of the planet. We are consumed with the bottom line and corporate success. What’s more, as society, we are unfulfilled and unhappy.

The great author and teacher Eckart Tolle wrote in his best selling book, The Power of Now:
“The pollution of the planet is only an outward reflection of an inner psychic pollution: millions of unconscious individuals not taking responsibility for their inner space […] Are you polluting the world or cleaning up the mess? You are responsible for your inner space; nobody else is, just as you are responsible for the planet. As within, so with out: If humans clear inner pollution, then they will also cease to create outer pollution.”

The time has come for a silent revolution, a change in consciousness. We move beyond the cubical of personal stress, breathe deeply and play outside. We relive the joy and the magic of our youth. We take time to celebrate the Planet. As we walk, ski, bike or run through the woods and even rest under the branches of a willow tree, we begin to recognize Mother Nature’s infinite wisdom to heal and forgive. We rejoice in rediscovering her magnificence and we vow to commit ourselves to her well being, as well as to our own.

{Photo by Craig Bannerman Photography}

1 reply
  1. Joumana
    Joumana says:

    Beautiful post, Yasmin. Personally, my favorite is “… as children grow up, they become time sensitive. They climb social ladders, (…) and make sales. Their hours are spent indoors, and so, they begin to forget how beautiful shooting stars look from a rooftop blanket.” Sad, but true. Going to share this post, hope you don’t mind.

    Reply

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