How to Deal with Environmental Concern

Caring about the environment is a good thing. However, sometimes the concern can get overwhelming. How do we deal with the great environmental collapse humans are creating? How do we deal with the oncoming global tidal wave of climate change, especially when the mainstream media continues to portray the science as questionable when it is not?

Here are a few thoughts.

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I think the first thing to remember is that you are only one individual. Sure, one individual can do a lot. But you are not responsible for the world. You are responsible for yourself, that is all (and perhaps your kids as well, if you have them).

Don’t take too much of the responsibility on yourself. Realize the limits of your responsibility. Realize the limits of your personal duties.

Ironically, realizing your own limits allows you to do more, I think. It is when we get overwhelmed with the problems that we become most helpless or turn off to the issues the most. Some of us feel so overwhelmed with the problems, we even try to avoid acknowledging them as being true.

Realize the problems, be aware of them, but take a step back and look at what your own responsibility in the matter actually is — don’t bear the weight of the whole world on your shoulders.

Secondly, I think one has to develop faith in something bigger than oneself. Humans are a big part of the world, a big part of the universe as we know it, and we have creative and destructive powers. But we are a part of Nature, and one species of Life. And the origin of life is still a mystery to human science.

It is a personal subject, but I think a big part of finding relief from environmental concern is finding faith in something larger than all of these environmental issues, finding faith in life and the source of life. It can be a bigger challenge than developing concern for and taking care of the environment, but I think it is a challenge worth putting time and attention and hard work into.

Find something bigger than all of the environmental challenges, and keep in mind what you yourself are actually responsible for.

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Related Stories:
1) Care and the Environment: A Proposition for Further Personal Growth
2) Fear’s Role in Climate Change Issues
3) Environmentalism as a Step in Individual Evolution

Image Credit 1: *Zara via flickr under a CC license
Image Credit 2: davebluedevil via flickr under a CC license


~ by Zachary Shahan on February 15, 2010.

One Response to “How to Deal with Environmental Concern”

  1. Zach, I have been overwhelmed by everything that is happening to our foods, waters, environment, economy, and politics. Just the other night I decided to take a little small action and sign 2 petitions for organic foods and against GMOs. That made me feel a little better. In this article, you really help someone like me bring down the feeling of despair and disappointment of what I can do personally by focusing on my own single effort and not take more than I can, I obviously can’t do all I wish.

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