2011-04-22

Make Earth Day about the Earth

Good morning! Today is Earth Day [EarthDay.org].

Forty-one years ago, the first Earth Day took place in the United States of America. Twenty years later, Earth Day went international, inspiring environmental awareness around the globe. What is Earth Day now? To some it is a day of measuring the consequences of human actions; to others it is a day of natural wonder.

I find it unfortunate that society has become so focused on controversy and opposition that people have forgotten the joy and excitement of special days of recognition. In the case of Earth Day, it would seem that many people view it now as a day of either penance or preaching.

In March, I invited readers to make Earth Hour "a time for thoughtful reflection". For Earth Day, I invite you to put your focus on the Earth. Seems obvious, right? There's a catch.

I don't only mean for us to focus on the environmental impact of human actions on our planet; I want to draw focus and appreciation on the planet as a whole: the beauty, diversity, and power of our world. Perhaps, as a child, you felt awe when you witnessed some specific aspect of Earth for the first time: volcanoes, ocean life, mountain peaks, human cultures, ancient artifacts or sites, etc..

Today, look at the world around you as if you are seeing it for the first time. Appreciate the nuance and beauty that surrounds you, then share the wonder you've felt with others. Your individual impact on the planet may be up for debate, but the impact of your actions and words on the people around you will always be strong.

Happy Earth Day! And finally, remember to say, "I love the World!"
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