I’ve been thinking more about my environmental impact. And the individual obligation we have to take care of this planet, our collective home. Nobody owns the title to Earth. So who assumes primary responsibility? What is my true responsibility and how can I improve this Earth?
The Earth demands our answer. Climate changes, deforestation, mercury in our waters, devastating wildfires and storms, mudslides. We can’t ignore the signs. Or the science. News headlines pitch global warming as a political issue, but that’s not the real issue at hand, is it? It doesn’t matter what side of the party line you fall on. The consequences hurt everyone.
We do ourselves no service by approaching global warming as a political issue. So, I’d like us to think about it as a moral one. Let’s table our ego and political beliefs to ask ourselves, simply and honestly, what we want our net impact on this world to be. Are we doing what we can, no matter how big or small, to leave our children and future generations with a world better off? Or recovering from our disregard and dismissal?
Choosing to recycle, limit your waste, or keep the oceans clean may not provide you with immediate gratifications, but they reflect a higher ideal. A belief that what we do matters. That our decisions have consequences. That we can be agents of good or bad. That we remain connected throughout generations by the actions we take throughout our own. And that, even though you or I may not benefit from clean air and water 100 years from now, others should.
As stewards of the earth, as the highest form of life on this planet, we must treat the land with respect. And accept the responsibility we have been given to care for it. When we don’t pay attention, when we say, “what can I do or how am I personally harming the earth?”, we are shunning responsibility. Which leaks into other areas of our lives.
I think about environmental responsibility as a frame of mind. It’s about paying attention. About not putting off for tomorrow what I can do today. And not waiting for disaster to take action. It’s about being awake, purposeful, and proactive in everything we do.
This week, let’s pay close attention to how we are treating the Earth and our environment. Together, let’s take responsibility and understand that we are our brother’s keepers. Take ownership of the impact you have on the greater outcome. Stock up on reusable bags, limit your use of plastics, always pick up your trash! If you and I take small actions to respect nature, learn how we can improve our environment with simple adjustments, we can make a huge change. We just have to decide, individually, to do so. I truly believe that in thinking about our daily lives this way, we will be more empathic, kind, caring, and loving human beings.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love.
-Asher Gottesman, CEO & Founder of Transcend Recovery Community