– Heartwood Path Waypoint 10 –
Write A Letter Of Thankfulness
A worthy eco-ethic has to take into account equity, fairness, and sustainability for not only present and future generations of humans but also for present and future generations of non-humans. This eco-ethic will need to focus on the appropriateness of business action but, even more importantly, it will also have to help us develop and share a global ethos that serves as a set of guiding beliefs that would “shift human behavior in ways that would protect the biospheric life support system and make better use of natural capital” (Cairns, 2001, p.1). According to biologist John Cairns, Jr., an “ethos based on fairness and equity regarding human society’s behavior within its own and other species seems to be the only possible unifying theme for sustainable use of the planet” (2001, p. 2). An ethos with such a plank does not require a significant disregard for individual rights.
In the United States, “individual ‘rights’ are proclaimed much more frequently than individual responsibility for the greater or universal good” (Cairns, 2001, p. 3). Surely honoring and respecting the uniqueness of each individual can be achieved without endorsing uncivil, disruptive behavior.
One approach that guides this writing comes from my best answer to the question: What is more important in making progress towards solving the global environmental predicament than greener technology, more sensitive science, a safety net of environmental laws, and religion becoming an advocate for a sustainable environment? My answer is an eco-psychology that brings out the best in people so that they can, if they choose as I hope they will, to trade band-aid solutions for remedies that go to the root of the problem. That root is the human mind. Fix it and you fix the planet. As Dudjom Rinpoche says: “The nature of mind is the nature of everything” (George, 1995, p.54).
It is, therefore, critical that the premier step is to make changes in the inner world, for if we do not, all attempted improvements in the outer world will be sabotaged by our psychological demons. I am not talking about the need to force intellectual conclusions. Rather, I am talking about the development of optimal mental-emotional-spiritual functioning so that people are in the best shape psychologically to create good ideas in their heads that are tempered by their hearts.
Inner world improvements alone will not be adequate if people do not find a way to better link what is in their heads with what is in their hearts. Such links come from direct experience, which is why in this series of courses the reader finds simple yet profound ways to experience nature and to glean its heart and wisdom. Such experiences will be helpful because they will help us with, as Einstein says, “widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the world of nature in its beauty” (George, 1995, p.54). As an important precursor to the development of more compassion towards others, do the following activity.
If this is not a day when you prefer to spend time in nature without an agenda, do the following activity:
Writing And Delivering A Letter Of Thankfulness
HumaNatureConnect Activity: Writing And Delivering A Letter Of Thankfulness. With pen and journal in hand, go to an attractive natural area and, in a spirit of appreciation, look around you to find something that is attractive to you. Once you find an aspect of nature that is attractive to you continuously for at least ten seconds, look around the outdoor scene for aspects of nature that make you feel grateful. Write them down. Then, write and then deliver a letter of thankfulness to someone in your life. Note how you feel after expressing your thankfulness to nature and another person.
Record your notes for this and every activity in your Heartwood Path Activity Log.
Natural Systems Reflection Process
For best results, write down your impressions of this activity in your journal using as many of the following components as you see fit, afterwards, share your interpretations with others.
The Heartwood Path Exchange:
Swap Your Ideas, Impressions, Photos, And News With Others
Your input is vital. Enjoy sharing!
Heartwood Path Axioms: