“May I come in?”
The elephant is a gentle giant. They are the largest living terrestrial amimals. Male African elephants can reach a height of 13 ft and weigh 15,000 pounds. The elephant’s large ears flap to control the temperature of its body. They live in a fission-fusion society where multiple family groups come together to commune and socialize. Elephants can live up to 70 years in the wild. They communicate by touch, sight, and sound. Elephants socialize over long distances with the use of seismic impulses of the stampede. They appear to have self awareness and show empathy for dying or dead individuals of their kind. They care for their own, keep to themselves and live in peace. Notwithstanding the niceties of the elephant, most of us, would not want to bring one home.
The living room in my home is about 13 feet in height and about 15 feet wide by 15 feet in length. If I brought an elephant into the room, there would be little to no room for my partner and I to breath. It would quickly become a problem of unmeasurable proportion. Now imagine if the elephant was the environment. Due to environmental degradation and climate change, the environment has become the elephant in the living room.Unfortunately, we are stuck with our unwanted guest. We have no control over the behavior of our guest and it does as it pleases. The environment has become the issue of our time.
World leaders and most earthly inhabitants, have been complacent about the health of the environment, ostensibly because economic growth is more important. The environment is not stuck with us, we are stuck with the environment. And because of this fact we must ask ourselves, what are we going to do about it? Doing nothing, as we have, is not an option.The environment is stirring up a storm in our living room (earth) of unfathomable proportions!
Extreme weather and the destruction that follows has cost many lives. Billions of dollars, $60 Billion for Super Storm Sandy alone has been spent on cleanup. The initial baby steps that address climate change are now being acted upon by the US government. This is a good beginning. Scientists who are being paid by the industrial complex can no longer refute the impact of human activities on earth. The natural cycles of the earth from periods of hot to cold and back again is the primary cause of global warming. In the past , we were blessed to be living in a time when weather patterns were stable. However, that’s no longer the case.With 7 billion, going on 10 billion inhabitants on earth, we have reached a tipping point.The best that we can do collectively is to implement climate change legislation and create business practices that are driven by sustainability. Unfortunately, these actions, even if implemented immediately, will never be enough to save the earth. Mother Earth will be fine. It’s quite silly and arrogant to think that we can save the planet from what she does naturally every few hundred million years. However, we can make a difference in our own lives by adopting practices and cultivating a consciousness around our relationship with the environment.
If we can’t save the planet what can we save?
We can save ourselves by becoming friends with the elephant that now resides in our living room. For much of my life the environment was out there and I was in here. I was separate and distant from the natural world. The environment at times was warm and friendly and at other times, a destructive force. As a matter of fact, on more then one occasion, the environment nearly killed me. When I examined those near tragic events it was not that the natural world nearly killed me, it was that I nearly killed myself. By not being separate from the environment, I put my life in jeopardy. When I realized what was occurring in the outer world was actually occurring first in my inner world, I experienced a radical shift in my relationship with the environment. All of the sudden, I was no separate from the environment.
The magnificence that resides within each of us also resides in the environment. The forces of nature are to be respected and the beauty and brilliance are to be honored and cherished. When I embraced the elephant in the room, my relationship with the natural world blossomed into a full-blown love affair. The imperative of this time on the planet is to come into proper relationship with the environment Through triumph and defeat, I am living a life full of gratitude. By ending the separation with the environment, the elephant and I can now live in peace.
How have you created a relationship with the environment?
Earth Mantra: I honor the environment, because by honoring it, I am honoring myself.