Minimalism, Mindfulness and the Moral Imperative of a New Earth Ethic
“The human venture depends absolutely on this quality of awe and reverence and joy in the Earth and all that lives and grows upon the Earth.” ~ Thomas Berry
A number of things have happened over the past week that have me feeling a stronger sense of urgency when it comes to changing the direction of this world.
First, as the dust from the mid-term elections (here in the U.S.) continues to settle and the action-reaction rhetoric from all sides kicks into high gear, the reality of what the agenda will (not) be in the next few years is coming into focus.
Second, I read an outstanding post from Leo Babauta called minimalism vs. the corporation (you should read it too).
Finally, the many messages of William Powers’s amazing book, Twelve by Twelve, has invited me to meditate on the idea that we continue to travel along the slow and steady path of ’eco-cide’ – the inevitable destruction and death of this humble little planet we call Home.
The culmination of all this is simple: The moral imperative to establish and embrace a New Earth Ethic is stronger than ever: An ethic that sets forth a framework by which all human activities should be governed and guided. An ethic whose sole purpose is to restore balance to our existence and create a pathway for sustainable prosperity for all perpetuity. An ethic that allows all beings to rediscover and dwell within the Peace that is in each one of us.
I have said many times that saving the planet is not hard, it’s just inconvenient. Establishing this New Earth Ethic begins with our own Self and spreads from there.
This personal change – I believe – can come about by embracing the four elements of Deep Living and transforming ourselves into ‘eco-beings’ (or ‘wildcrafters’ as William Powers calls it):
- Pursuing a minimalist or simple(r) lifestyle, shedding what is unnecessary and embracing what remains. Remember, Nature is the ultimate minimalist teacher.
- Practicing mindfulness, and in particular mindful consumption, in all that we do each day.
- Shifting your perspective to being One with Nature, not above or apart from it.
- Sharing what you’ve learned with others, especially children
More broadly speaking, the New Earth Ethic will only come about when:
- We challenge the Throwaway Culture of Convenience at every turn
- We stop leaning on the crutch excuse of the Economy Argument when it comes to why we CAN’T take on the challenges of protecting our environment
- We focus on the long-term and not the knee-jerk short-term
- We start turning words into action, answering the call of leadership and becoming catalysts
- We dwell in Love and practice unyielding compassion towards our fellow beings (human or otherwise)
The stakes are so high. The time we have before us to turn the tide is shrinking with each passing moment. History will not be kind when upon reflection, it condemns the shallowness and ineptitude of our inaction.
The Earth – our Mother, our Sustainer, our primary Enabler of Existence – does not care who we are: Our countries, our cultures, our religions, our political leanings, our ideologies…
We are all human. We are all of this Earth. We are all called to be One and in this, realize that the fate of the planet is not separate from that of our own.
You can help be a catalyst by sharing this post with others in your circle via Twitter, Facebook or one of the other social media tools below. Please consider subscribing to The New Pursuit and becoming part of this community of change. While you’re here, you might also enjoy these posts:
- Challenging the Throwaway Culture of Convenience
- Deep Living 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Pursuing Your Own Path
- The ABCs of Mindful Parenting