A few days ago I happened to have a conversation with a friend of mine about printing out a pdf.
She was commenting about the use of graphic images and how she wished people who made ebooks would use fewer graphic images so it wouldn’t take so many pieces of paper to print them. I actually agree with that because some ebooks have so much much graphic design that is not relevant to the message that it does take more paper and ink to read the message.
She said that she didn’t want to be using more trees for these unnecessary displays of graphics.
About an hour later—while I was standing in my garden—I suddenly realized that the environmental movement has done a great deal of education about how we humans are depleting resources, so much so that we have the idea that resource on this planet are finite and we should be conserving them at every turn.
Hmmm. That’s not quite right.
I would say that I have more awareness of nature than the average person.
Over the weekend I had three experiences that surprised and delighted me as I began to be even more aware of nature in new ways.
It started on Friday evening. Larry and I had been watching national news on TV and I just didn’t want to watch it anymore.
I went outside and walked to the end of the lane.
Over the years, in my own life, I have learned there are many words that I think I understand, but really don’t. And some words have a lot of emotional energy attached to them, which affects what I think the meaning is, when it really is quite something else. “Acceptance” is one of those words.
Really understanding the concept of acceptance and gaining the ability to use it in my life has made a significant difference.
To accept, by definition, is to agree to something and thereafter be bound to act in accordance with it.
The most basic thing to know about Life is that it has a basic intent to survive. In language related to humans we call it will to live—the drive for self-preservation along with expectations for future improvement in one’s state in life. But this basic intent to survive is inherent
in every species and even every cell in our bodies.
When I learned this many years ago, I decided if I am part and parcel of nature, then I have within me an inherent intent to survive too. Not just as myself, but to have all of Life that supports my existence survive at the same time.
Even though we have this drive to survive as part of our nature, industrial humans have been demonstrating a tendency to destroy life when we live an industrial consumer lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There is more to survive that simply continuing to continue. There is a whole scale of surviving from barely to abundantly.
Here’s a scale of survival that Larry and I put together.
There is in certain men … a quality of resilience, a sturdy refusal to acknowledge defeat, which aids them as effectively in affairs of the heart as in encounters of a sterner and more practical kind.
— P. G. Wodehouse
Resilience is a word that comes up here, where I live, every year after fire season. I was actually born and raised in Northern California and have lived here all my life except for 15 years in Florida. I have never experienced fire season like we have now, until I returned here in 2017. And every year since we have had massive fires.
But after each fire, we all start cleaning up and rebuilding and putting our community life back together again.
The word that comes up when we do this is resilience.
No astronaut goes into space with his fingers crossed. That’s not how we deal with risk.
What I learned from twenty-one years as an astronaut is the more you know the less you fear.
Study every system on a space ship and then boil it down into what I call a 1-pager.
You’ve got to be able to solve your problems in one breath.
FMR. COLONEL & COMMANDER, NASA & CSA
When I first heard these words I thought, “Yes! This is how we should approach living on Earth.”