The Cherry or Ecological Footprint? The Effect of Mental Images on the Environment

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Photo credits: Pixabay

Lately I’ve read some authors who have led me to contemplate the mental images we keep fixed in our minds, images that guide our lives. It’s amazing how such ephemeral things exert such huge influences on us and on our world. Although the first author, Richard Rohr, is a well-known retreat leader, and McDonough and Braungart leading proponents of ecological design, in many ways they speak the same language.

In The Upcycle McDonough and Braungart argue that they way we think about the environment impedes true progress, and that the way we think is driven by certain images we have about humans and nature. Continue reading “The Cherry or Ecological Footprint? The Effect of Mental Images on the Environment”

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Environmental Action and the Power of Humility

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Photo Credits: Pixabay

Yesterday I spent some quiet time observing the shores of a local lake. On the sandy beach I noticed lots of small anthills in an otherwise barren landscape. I asked myself how ants survive in an environment that would kill me in no time. Similarly, there’s no way I could extract nutrients from the wet sand as the common buckeye butterflies were doing. When I ponder the thousands of organisms making a living on and from that barren habitat, I realize how small I am in the order of things and how little I really know or understand. I felt humbled. I think humility should serve as the cornerstone of any effective environmental action.

We have asked our contemplative group to spend time outdoors these last couple of weeks appreciating the creatures (rocks, plants, animals, clouds…whatever) they encounter, and then respecting and revering the deep presence of God within them. Continue reading “Environmental Action and the Power of Humility”