Ah Earth Day. A wonderful time of year when everybody is more environmentally conscience and does their little part to help our home and the idea of a tomorrow. When our jobs and classes become clear to us as meaningless trivialities that inhabit the cycles of light on our beautiful, natural home. Arguments with neighbors become cheerful hellos and comments on how nice the weather is. Traffic ceases to exist as the bike paths get over loaded. Everybody is joined in peaceful, harmonious, appreciation of the simple joy of our luscious planet.
Except we all know that doesn’t happen. The truth is, in this day and age, when people have either accepted that we’re doomed from global warming or decided that it was all a hoax, the environment is not a priority for most people. Of course, everyone says they care about the Earth. Of course everyone expresses sadness and regret when finding out about another extinct animal, such as the newly extinct African Black Rhinoceros. Feelings and flippant remarks might help intrinsically, but they do not help the environment.
This past Earth Day, the extent of most people’s celebration was a picture of them at the beach posted to Instagram, with a caption such as “Appreciating Mama Nature” and others of the sorts. But as they sprawl on a beach somewhere, the question still remains if our children will be able to sprawl out on that same beach.
Earth Day celebrations are perhaps some of the most important rituals ever performed. Outweighing the Aztecs and their human sacrifice or the Native Americans and their ceremonies, modern Earth Day traditions are vastly more important. When you are celebrating Earth Day you are not praying to some sort of metaphysical spirit floating in the sky. No, you are investing in this world of ours and helping ensure that the wonders we are able to appreciate are still there years from now.
So start the day off with a moment of silence. Stare out the window, at the tops of the trees and let the bird song find its way to your ear. Leave all the technology in the room alone, and take a minute just to appreciate the working miracle that our home truly is. But that’s not all that matters. You must remember to turn the faucet off after brushing your teeth and to turn the lights off when you leave the room. Acts like these are extremely important to practice and recognize their importance on Earth Day, but the true spirit of the holiday isn’t to act responsible for just one day, but set the bar of expectations for the rest of the year.
So for a citizen of the world, Earth Day is every day. Spending a part of each day simply being human, feeling your roots in the soil. Understand the serenity that comes from being in balance with nature. Always remember to turn the water off, or close the fridge. Stay outside rather than post a selfie and head back indoors. It’s not that hard, and it fulfills one in a meaningful way. If everyone lived like this, tomorrow would have nothing to worry about.
Science cannot deny the health and happiness benefits from spending a little time outdoors each day feeling the warmth of the sun, the cool breeze on your face — listening to all the sounds of the world and yet not creating your own. We have all had a moment like this, out in the woods, on top of a mountain, where we feel so small compared to the magnificence of it all that somehow it becomes much easier to find yourself. We have understood the powerful gift of our world, now all we have to do is not destroy it.
Go Team Human.