We are living in a time of great uncertainty. It’s also a time of immense opportunity for us to begin to live a more meaningful life.
In my lifetime
I think back to my parents and what the world was like back then. Just before the second world war began, they escaped from Nazi Germany and individually moved to South Africa. We are Jewish. Most of our relatives died during Hitler and his Nazi reign. It was a time of great uncertainty for them — and the world. My immediate family were among the lucky ones who survived because of other people’s kindness.
I left South Africa during the 60’s and traveled to Paris. While there I experienced the student riots. And then on to England where there were sit-ins and love-ins and great unrest. It was the Nixon era in the USA. This unrest of the 1960s resulted in more rights for women and people of colour; and the establishment of Earth Day.
We did not go far enough.
What — now? Yes now.
I feel we are going through a similar period of breakdown and breakthrough — now. Politicians are trying to rule through fear in the U.S.A. and that spills over to us, here in Canada.
We need to counter this fear tactic through beauty, love, and kindness. Let’s make our voices heard.
You know of my concern for the world’s ecology and how humanity interacts with it. I think that being grateful for the beauty around us, for what we have, will help move us forward.
I feel we learn much through nature.
Because of Charles Darwin, many people think that the way things work is through “survival of the fittest.” In some respects, this may be true. In reality however, there are many aspects of nature that work together for the greater whole.
Many paths of nature complement each other. For example, Nature never takes more than it needs. Flowering plants invite pollinators to share their bounty (sap) for food. In return, pollen gets transferred ensuring the next generation of plants survive.
I feel that the real story of nature is survival of the kindest. Nature is all about building relationships, partnering, net-working, giving back, creating eco-systems, and regenerating from adversity.
Everything in nature flourishes without greed. Even us.
An example of kindness is the more recent research on trees in old growth forests. We now know that trees nurture their younger offspring. Older trees help young ones in times of drought so the young can grow stronger to survive. You can read about the nurturing nature of trees in The Hidden life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. I mentioned his book before in my blog post The tree factor for a good life along with other tree inspiring books on living in harmony and kindness.
Living in Harmony
My big message this month is that we need to live in harmony with nature. And we also need to live in harmony with ourselves. A walk in the forest is healing and brings us into harmony. Practicing the Japanese art of Forest Bathing (Shinrin Yoku) is good for your health — and your soul. When you live in harmony with nature, you tend to increase your kindness factor with all things including animals and people.
We flourish when communities work together.
During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen humans living in harmony with others. Young people shopping for their older neighbors. Groups providing meals for front-line workers. Restaurants offering food to shelters. Families donating their surplus to food banks. Neighbors sharing plants so that gardens can flourish everywhere.
Just like in Nature, our lives are interdependent.
We want and need emotional connections and experiences to be healthy, happy, and whole. So, let’s survive by being kind and helping everyone and everything – from people to plants.
To me world care is self-care.
Take care and be safe to yourself and those around you.