I am really enthusiastic about helping our Earth to heal, and all the ideas that accompany that such as working towards zero waste living and lowering carbon emissions. This got me thinking about the other types of “emissions” we can work on balancing out.
Just as it’s important to counteract physical damage done to the Earth, I follow a philosophy of limiting mental and emotional harm too and we can do this by aiming to be caring neutral by balancing an unkind act we witness with a positive one. We can even tip the balance in the positive direction by replacing each less positive deed with two or three nice ones.
This is a stressful and challenging time for many. People are reporting more agressive outbursts, desperate actions or what we see as rudeness. Of course, all these behaviours will have a reason so let’s be understanding and aim to counteract the negative by replacing it with a positive whenever we see it. This might be a positive action for the person we see struggling, if appropriate to do, for example saying to someone who may have just had a loud outburst, “I can see you’re struggling, what would make things easier for you right now” and they may just want to talk through something.
I truly believe that if we learn to connect with one another more and have more love for each other, then that will automatically translate to more love for the planet. The same with self care, if we take care of ourselves we are more likely to notice our surroundings and look after them too.
This is not to generalise, I put a similar post up recently and many friends told me that they dislike themselves but would never litter. I was definitely not meaning to equate mental ill health with trashing the planet. I personally have struggled with depression and anxiety and did not cause harm (that I know of) yet I wasn’t particularly spreading positivity either. And that’s ok, we all need to do our best with what we have. My intention was to say that once we have a basic level of connectedness and wellbeing, we can focus our energy on change and rather than the huge amounts of energy we spend worrying or thinking negative thoughts.
Of course, I realise the situation is far more complex than “just add more love” yet that remains the basic premise to the solution I feel.
Here are some ideas for offsetting uncaring emissions and creating a kinder, united world…
- Plant Seeds of Kindness
As well as the importance of planting more trees, wildflowers and food- there is a huge need for dispersing kernals of joy too! This can take the form of loving words such as compliments or encouragements, small caring actions like letting people go ahead of you in queues or online sharings of inspiring deeds.
2. Ensure Your Personable Energy is Sustainable
This means not working to the point of exhaustion or emotional burn out. Taking care of ourselves so that we can then be the care takers our communities and planet deserve rather than all of us being zombiefied and only half engaged in the world. We know with fossil fuels that we need to look to alternatives or we’ll be completely burn out the Earth’s resources and we don’t want to do that too ourselves either.
3.Minimise Single Use Friendships and Relationships
Just as we try to limit the amount of plastic we consume, people are not there not there for us to use and discard. There is a big trend, particularly with dating and also with friendships, to make quick judgements based on looks or one off dates and meetings. I believe in trusting our instincts yet we dismiss a whole entire person with hopes, dreams, stories on a whim instead of taking time to get to know them and see what lies beyond a quick glance. Think of friends made in school or work- these are relationships built over time, not just one off, random encounters so let’s not be as quick to judge others.
4. Choose your Mind-diet wisely.
We know that eating more of a plant-based diet is great for the Earth and all of her creatures. The nutrition we fill our mind with counts too. If we consume a mind-diet of low quality, ngative information we will not be the healthiest we can be, just as we would not expect to be super healthy eating only junk food. Excess tv, gossip magazines, conversations that talk badly about others all contribute to a lowered sense of wellbeing and we will be less able to offer positivity and uplifting words to others when they might need a boost. Be aware of what you consume mentally, as well as physically.
I love this thought path of reducing uncaring emissions as it can mean many different things and is so flexible that everyone can make a contribution wherever they are. Start with yourself, act more kindly to that person you see in the mirror then extend that to your neighbours, wider community and strangers you pass in the street. We CAN create a kinder world and in doing so feel more connected to each other and our Earth.