Back in high school, our school required us to memorize this:
“The Seven Environmental Principles”
1. Nature knows best
2. All forms of life are important
3. Everything is connected to everything else
4. Everything changes
5. Everything must go somewhere
6. Ours is a finite earth
7. Nature is beautiful and we are stewards of God’s creation
I remember how it was so drilled into everyone’s heads that when asked about it, people would mindlessly, robotically, recite all of it without giving them much thought anymore. I found these principles interesting though especially since, compared to them, I only went through 4 years of repeatedly reciting all 7 since I came from a different elementary school (others went through 11 years and maybe even more of reciting these lines).
As I was browsing through random posts on the web, I remembered about this list. And I took a bit of time to review them and reflect on them in the context of what is happening in our world.
The year 2016 is basically considered the worst year ever. With all that is happening. Yet the principles outline for me the reason why I still wake up everyday and do my best.
Nature knows best. And nature for me is the physical representation of God. God knows best. Despite all the evil forces at work, if we really believe in God, we choose to believe that hope is still there out there somewhere.
All forms of life are important. Whether classified as good or bad, people are all important. Animals are all important. Plants are all important. Each has their purpose to fulfill. Whatever that purpose is…who knows?
Everything is connected to everything else. Our present is happening on a set-up made of past decisions, while the stage for tomorrow is being prepared in the present. Each choice we make creates a twist in the story and that’s what makes the present so powerful.
Everything changes. And so we have to continue being open. Forever is made up of choices made each and every day. There is hope in that there is always an option to change for the better. And we find humility in knowing that mistakes and failures can also happen anytime.
Each of our decisions will always lead to something. Whether it is something good or something bad, no one really knows. The most we can do is to be mindful and open to whatever happens.
Ours is a finite earth. As much as we can, it is important to only take what we need and not go beyond that. The curbing of our appetites seems to be most difficult to manage and it is contributing to the greed that is poisoning the world today.
Nature is beautiful and we are stewards of God’s creation. All of us are created beautiful and we are all responsible for taking care of ourselves. To keep not just the world but also our inner selves free of “pollutants”. We always start with tending our own gardens.