“The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” — Psalms
Today, April 22nd, marks Earth Day, our planet’s very own special day. It’s a good time to reflect on our roles and responsibilities as citizens of the world and engage in activities that benefit the planet.
The theme of this year is "Invest In Our Planet”. Kathleen Rogers, president of Earth Day's global organizer EarthDay.org, wants this year's message to give people all across the globe hope. In an interview, she said, "I think people can't operate in fear... So we looked for messaging [that] might inspire people to look to the future in a way that engages them and allows them to think positively about what they could do to change it." Rogers further added that “Invest In Our Planet” brings three parties to the table: government, businesses, and citizens, and emphasized the notion of unity by stating that “we all need to work together.”
All the ancient writings and texts direct our attention to the timeless truth that we are all interconnected and mutually interdependent, and thus emphasize fulfilling our duties as guardians of the planet. In such a world of cause and effect, acting from ignorance or selfishness always leads to suffering for oneself and others. When we harm other living beings, when we harm our Mother Earth, consciously or unconsciously, we harm ourselves too. This is why, cultivating a relentless love and commitment for the common good, becoming responsible citizens of the world, and choosing global welfare over our individual petty, selfish motives is the best way to protect the beauty and priceless resources of our planet.
So, to honor this occasion and the theme on point “Invest In Our Planet,” I’d like to share a short passage by author and spiritual teacher Eknath Easwaran:
“You and I are trustees. Nothing belongs to us personally. The resources of our planet have been entrusted to every one of us together. Like good bank trustees, we are expected not to squander these resources but to invest them wisely for our beneficiaries: the rest of life, especially the generations to come.
The trust includes not only the lives and natural resources of the planet, but our inner resources as well. This has practical implications. We can lessen our potentially exhausting impact on the earth by simplifying our desires and demands. Simplicity is the key to trusteeship.”
Pope John Paul II once remarked, “The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.”
In this fast-paced, consumer-driven world, it’s easy to get sidetracked by obligations, addictions, distractions, and temptations, and forget the concept of an interconnected world. It’s easy to focus on our problems and our own little worlds and forget the bigger picture. But the truth is that we are all connected, one way or the other. Our every choice, our every action, little or big, good or bad, affects the planet.
Today, on Earth day, let’s work towards changing our perception and attitude, and remind ourselves that we are all trustees of our wonderful planet. Let’s commit to walking the path of simplicity and take superior actions that benefit our future generations, our fellow beings, and our Mother Earth.
Happy Earth Day to all of you!