Why care for the environment?
Ask this question of people from around the world and myriad responses will return.
You might hear “Do it….”
- For your children
- For the technical challenge of achieving sustainability
- Because the Glorious Qur’an states that this is man’s obligation
- To save Gaia
- Because it is the ancestral way
- For the opportunity to make money
- To preserve the beauty of Nature
- So I don’t get cancer from pollutants
- Because it is honorable and is our responsibility to be stewards
- To stop the greedy industrialists by any means necessary
- Because pollution is a sin against Creation
- To sacredly express love for all of existence.
What is your answer?
Do any of these responses feel true to you and appeal to your deepest sensibilities? Which responses, if any, fail to strike a chord or feel uncomfortable to you? How and where does that discomfort show up in your body? Place your attention in those areas of your body and feel into how you might be viscerally reacting to one or more of the statements. These different statements will resonate with different worldviews. If you had even the slightest negative reaction to any of the statements, it may indicate that you have some difficulty relating to the worldview that generated it.
This article is a brief introduction to the art and science of communicating about sustainability to different worldviews. One key ability is to be able to honor all worldviews as they are, even if they differ from our own. Any negative reaction we feel toward a worldview blocks our capacity to authentically communicate and create mutual understanding with someone who holds that lens on life. By focusing conscious attention on where we feel a reaction in our body, we can begin to move through any internal blockage we might have toward that worldview. Effective communication starts with profoundly understanding ourselves.