Saturday, July 16, 2011

Our global footprint

Someone said "People will only remember you for either the problems you created or the problems you solved."

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about my "footprint" on the planet. Thinking about how my actions create not just my future, but since we are all connected in a way, the future of others on the planet.

I decided this year to grow tomatoes in the one area in my backyard where it gets sun. Earlier in the year, I had sprayed pesticide for bugs as I do every year on the concrete right next to where I am now growing my delicious tomatoes. It never used to bother me that I was spraying pesticide each year on the outside of my house because although they say it gets in the soil, since I wasn't eating from the soil, it didn't matter. Now I'm beginning to contemplate the consequences of my actions as I eat my delicious home grown tomatoes. Are there toxins in there that I put there that I can't see taste or perceive? I'm not just thinking about the consequences directly affecting me in my lifetime, but how is what I'm doing affecting others even as I am long gone. My daughters generation and beyond, what am I leaving them? Even on a global scale, what happens to our underground water supply as everyone sprays? How do my actions, even though perceived small affect the planet on a global scale?

I'm not just applying this kind of thinking to my decisions about whether or not to spray pesticides or whether or not to recycle. You can apply it to everything you say or do.

When you drop a pebble in a pond, it ripples out and even though you eventually can't see the ripples, the wave continues on. What if we viewed our thoughts, words and actions like this pebble? That everything we think, say and do has an influence that ripples out not just to our immediate surroundings but continues on affecting not just our planet but ultimately our universe.

I understand that no human will ever make perfect decisions 100 percent of the time, but I really like the quote I mentioned earlier because it makes you think about your actions and their implications. Not only on yourself but on the global community that we live in.

Never before in history has it been so easy to spread ideas. The internet and social media has made a huge planet where everyone is separate into a very small interconnected global community. We've always been connected but we just haven't always perceived it.

What if we were to look at the earth and universe like a human body? A complex set of systems working synergistically together with the goal of life and survival? What if we were to see ourselves not as disconnected, but as part of this system?

Just as the rate of a human bodies metabolism regulates the rate of which our cells function it seems that technology is ushering in a new era in which the earths metabolism is speeding up. Ideas flow more freely because the internet allows everyone to have a voice, and magnifies the realm of influence of that voice.

Social media and the internet is in a sense removing the veil and magnifying the truth of what we really are, and what we are becoming as a species.

We've always been connected but we just haven't always realized it as much as we do now. Our connections have not only been there, but they are growing stronger each day as technology continues to unite us. Media is not only one way because we now can voice our opinions on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites. This is allowing us to connect and unite with others of the same beliefs, passions and interests.

With this new understanding, I'm in awe of my own personal responsibility in what I say and do. To contemplate what problems I am solving or what problems I am creating while here on earth. I I am now more than ever, compelled to live in harmony with the surrounding community, global community, earth and universe. I greatly sense my connectedness and I am compelled to view others, kinda like a part of myself. Even those who I might disagree. Even those who are suffering or sick. If they are suffering and sick, in a sense, I am suffering and sick. Those who are rich and those who are poor. Every culture, tongue and tribe is connected to me and in a sense, part of me.

I want to become more of a problem solver. I want to leave behind a positive legacy of helping contribute to the welfare of humankind and every living thing on the earth as well as the universe.

Now I'm not saying that we should walk on eggshells carefully dissecting and analysing every decision we make. That would lead to paralysis of analysis. I am saying maybe we should be more diligent in considering our impact though. Be more diligent in considering our footprint.

"Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." -
Albert Einstein

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  1. "I want to become more of a problem solver. I want to leave behind a positive legacy of helping contribute to the welfare of humankind and every living thing on the earth as well as the universe." Wow!! You inspire so many, Rob! You inspire me to press on and make an impact on the people around me♥thank you for that my dear..Friend.