Surprising, isn’t it, how Albert Einstein was such a deep thinker on so many different subjects? Including religion and, it seems, conservation.
I love his suggestion to “freeourselves” by being more inclusive in our compassion. Sometimes, it feels like there’s too little compassion to go around, especially when it comes to nature.
We can be a selfish people because as a whole, we’re a culture of excess.
Both stay warm.
But only one makes an unnecessarily large fire, thus burning up all the firewood and producing way too much heat and flame.
When I saw this on a card a while back in Santa Fe I thought about how accurately it describes our culture of unnatural excess. Big cars, big trucks, mega-mansions, megalomania. We over-fish, over-hunt and over-do. We don’t just cut, we clear-cut.
When do you think we’ll learn that our resources are finite and that using more than we actually need — way more than we need — is an irresponsible way to live?
Walking around beautiful Yellowstone National Park last summer I was so taken with the way our first national park has been cared for. How its beauty remains largely pristine. And when I saw wildlife, which was all the time, I watched others try to get as close as possible, while I was happy standing at a distance, watching them go about their daily routines without bothering them. It wasn’t necessary for me to get close. It was enough that I saw them and that they could live without my disturbing them.
The beauty around us speaks more clearly to me now that I’m older. I appreciate it more. I love being out in nature, whether it’s traveling to a national park, admiring the Pacific coast or hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains. There’s a part of urban-me that wants to live in a beautiful natural setting to be able to appreciate daily the gifts the Divine has bestowed upon us. Because we really are lucky and we need to take care to conserve those gifts for future generations.
There are many opportunities to give to organizations that fund conservation efforts. Or to a national park. I love the idea of donating to one of those groups in lieu of giving holiday gifts. Because it’s a gift that will endure.
I’ve even stopped sending flower arrangements for funerals, instead choosing to honor the deceased by planting memorial trees in a U.S. National Forest. It’s a beautiful way to memorialize a loved one.
This week, wouldn’t it be lovely if we each did one thing to widen our circle of compassion? Something to help wildlife or our environment?