Caring for Earth

One of my earliest memories was seeing Monarch butterflies, their bright colors in the summer sun, seeming so fragile, fluttering through the yard eluding my toddler attempts to catch them. In recent decades, the Monarch population has declined steeply, and the species is vulnerable, all the more so because of climate change. 

Monarch 2.jpg

Each of you, I'm sure, has your own story like this, a deep connection to the greater life on Earth that we are a part of. 

How is climate change impacting it?

How do we respond? What are we called to do? 

The answer that comes to me is to commit to an ethic of caring for life on Earth, sustaining Earth’s capacity to support flourishing life.

We have lived our lives by the assumption that what was good for us would be good for the world. We have been wrong. We must change our lives so that it will be possible to live by the contrary assumption, that what is good for the world will be good for us. And that requires that we make the effort to know the world and learn what is good for it.
— Wendell Berry

How do we change our lives, individually and societally, so that our lives increase, rather than decrease, the flourishing of life on earth, including human life? 

Consider the ethics of ahimsa (non-harming) and aparigraha (freedom from greed) found in the Yoga Sutra of Patanjali. How would action guided by those principles be different? Could those ethics guide us to change our lives in service to sustaining life on Earth? 

Sharpen your awareness of the impact of choices and actions at all levels, from individual to societal. Ask the question: Does this action enhance the capacity of the Earth to support Life, or diminish it?

Set an intention to live with an ethic of Earth Care. and make it part of your regular practice, until the consideration becomes part of who you are. Explore how that ethic might change your choices and actions, or larger scale societal policies and systems. Keeping a journal of your thoughts on this would be a powerful practice.

Galen Tromble