Caring for ourselves becomes caring for the whole earth. Caring for the earth is caring for ourselves.
We’ve all heard countless times about where the earth is right now, and what kind of demise we’ll have to face if we continue this way. I think many of the people who read this blog care about the earth and want to do something to help it. But living day to day while thinking about the future of the earth may still feel hard. We may ask, “I’m already so busy trying to keep up with my own life. Do I really need to take on the extra headache of worrying about something like this? Even if I were to pay attention to it, would it change anything?” Perhaps this is an indication of how disconnected many of us have become from nature or of how desensitized we have become to tragedy. Maybe we look at the actions of powerful organizations or countries and feel cynical or hopeless.
I would like to encourage people who feel this way not to be disheartened or apathetic. I hope they know that their concern matters; what they do matters. We can use our concern to question, interact, and create. No one has all of the answers for solving the earth’s problems, but I’m confident that if we all keep applying our minds and hearts to the problem at hand, we’ll start to see hope. This is what’s amazing.
Start with Yourself
There is a saying in the classic text, The Great Learning of Confucius: “After self-management and home management comes governing a country and the entire world.” This statement reminds us that everything is inextricably connected as one—from self-management to governing a country or the entire world. The earth cannot be healthy and peaceful unless people are, and people cannot be healthy and peaceful unless the earth is.
We can start with caring for and loving ourselves, and we can extend that to our families and organizations. We can also care for our countries. Not stopping there, we can extend our concern to the whole earth. With our concern so wide, our own individual challenges may seem more conquerable.
Starting with people is important, and it’s our hope. Organizations and groups are made up of people. And wherever we go on earth, we’re likely to find people. So if we want organizations or countries to change, if we want to change the earth, we first need to change the people. We can’t get away from changing ourselves.If we want organizations or countries to change, if we want to take care of the earth, we first need to change the people. Click To Tweet
If we make ourselves healthy and we coexist peacefully with the people around us, if we find happiness inside ourselves, we will become models of this for others. Our actions will have ripple effects beyond what we can see. We’ll naturally create environments and situations that empower others to be peaceful and healthy as well. Healthy and peaceful people form healthy and peaceful groups, healthy and peaceful countries, and a healthy and peaceful world.
Keep a Wide Perspective
A little as a century ago, the largest unit of organization, and people’s major focus of attention, was the state. It was enough if your country, and only yours, became wealthy and powerful. Now, though, with the development of transportation, information, telecommunications, and industry, we’ve already transcended national borders and are moving into the era of a global village. We can immediately see what’s happening on the other side of the world on TV or the Internet, while we drink drinks and wear clothes of the same multinational brands. However, our consciousness remains trapped within the confines of the old belief systems defined by national borders. Although the reality has changed, we have been unknowingly trained in these beliefs by our countries, cultures, and religions our entire lives.
The environmental crisis facing the human species right now, however, can no longer be solved by regional and organizational self-centeredness. Damage due to environmental destruction has already gone beyond national borders. To solve these problems, we now need what I call “Earth Management.” Earth Management sees the earth as united and approaches issues on a global scale.
Each of us can consider ourselves Earth Managers if we take on this global perspective. The idea of Earth Management can be applied to our own lives as we make decisions about what we eat, how we live, and where we put our garbage. It can influence what we buy and who we vote for. As Earth Managers, instead of fighting for resources, we figure out how to best use them for the good of all. We consider the needs of people on the other side of the world and of future generations.
From the perspective of Earth Management, we can create a system that brings everyone happiness and peace. When people work together for the dream of Earth Management, I think this world will surely become a better place.
- Earth Management through Self Management
- A New Future with Earth Management
- Choose a Dream for the Earth
- What Can You Do to Help?
- Dreaming of a Divine Community