Climate Change is the biggest threat that we have ever faced as a civilization. We are on a trajectory that many scientists believe cannot be reversed. As for me? I simply cannot live in that space. I have got to get up every day and do whatever I can to reverse it or stop it – and inspire others to do the same. But what is it going to take? What does that even mean? My answer to that big question is three clear concepts that translate into action: connection, compassion and kindness.
We all have to figure out how to intentionally connect more with nature. And I say intentionally because with our busy lives, it is making the choice to invest time with the great outdoors. We have to get away from the news and the noise, and realize that inhaling fresh air and listening to birds and looking at wildflowers feeds our souls, and helps up to realize what a gift this planet is. And THEN we’ll want to be on board with preserving it! If you are connected to nature and all her bounty, you will notice when a river dries up or know when the wildflowers are in bloom and you will stop dead in your tracks at the sound of a songbird. You will know that you can’t walk or drive 10 yards without a plastic bag flying in your face or adorning the trees, and that will bother you – because you are connected. And you’ll want to fight like hell to preserve this planet we inhabit.
Compassion is defined as sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others. To me, compassion means that you care deeply about other people, about clean water, about clean air, about wildflowers, about all species – not just ours, about where you throw your garbage, about the impact of climate change on others, about who makes your clothes. You’ll care about how many straws you use or the amount of food that goes into the landfill. How does food waste tie into compassion? I know that every single one of you cares about anyone going to bed hungry. We all care about children with empty stomachs and swollen bellies and lots of us do things, in one way or another, to be a part of changing that. You feel compassion for the hungry. What you might not realize is that caring about your food waste translates into caring about the health of the planet. One of the things we can do to make an impact on the 40% of the food that is grown in the United States but is never consumed, is to cut down on our food waste, and that’s something we can start today. Buy only what you will eat. Buy “ugly” produce or produce that doesn’t meet the standards of perfection of your local grocery but is still perfectly good, if given the option, and then figure out a way to compost what you don’t eat. Be connected to your food, compassionate towards those who don’t have enough, which translates to kindness to our planet and using far less of the planet’s resources.
Do you ever really think about what it means to be kind? I believe that showing up as kindness every day to other human beings really matters. Pro-active or intentional kindness to others is ever so important as well. What does kindness to the EARTH look like? Kindness to the earth takes on many forms. It means that you have awareness about your own personal impact on the earth. How much water do you use? Do you waste it? How much trash do you throw in the landfills? How many paper towels do you use in a day? How many water bottles or disposable coffee cups do you go through in a week? Or how many lights do you leave on in rooms you aren’t in? How about spraying your weeds with harsh and harmful chemicals that harm the earth, harm your pets, harm all of the critters outside including birds and that certainly are not kind to your body either. If you are not aware or connected to the impact of each of these actions, chances are you can shore up on your kindness to the earth. Those actions are not kind. And they all matter. They all have an impact on the climate and climate reality. True kindness is being aware of what your impact is on the earth and all of its inhabitants.
There you have it – this is what it will take to reverse or stop climate change. If you come from a place of connected mindful compassion and concern for the safety and misfortune of others as well as our planet, you will begin to make choices that will result in a safer, healthier, more fair and sustainable planet for all. You will do the good thing, do the right thing and become an official Disruptor for Good.