Over the last few years I have come to see that human beings need seven experiences each day in order to be well. One purpose of this blog has been to communicate ideas which inspire change in order for these seven experiences to be more freely available to all living beings including humans:
- To breathe clean air
- To drink clean water and eat good food which God provides rather than what humans manufacture
- To be loved: to receive care and kindness; to know you are not alone
- To love others: to give care and kindness; to know you are needed
- To be stressed: to learn, be challenged, accomplish, achieve and grow.
- To play: to express ourselves, laugh, cry, sing, move, and create
- To rest: to be quiet, be still, and sleep
All but two (1, 2, 7, & 5/6) occur in short, medium, long, and longer cycles. We must breathe in clean air every few seconds. We must bring in good food and water every few hours. We must sleep once a day for several hours. Following our work, we must play and rest from our efforts every few days. Abide by these cycles and our bodies will be happier.
Two of these (3 & 4) are necessary in cycles less fixed. However, for sound relationships with people and planet, they are like mathematical constants: As a vibrant, organized communal species, a society, we are tasked with the following activities: to make good food and water available; to protect others from harm; to heal those who are ill or injured; to clean and restore order; and to communicate, teach, learn, and manage with honest integrity our history, culture, relational norms, and the skills to accomplish our tasks. If we are not performing these broad functions, or supplying those who do, we are wasting energy.
To perform our tasks efficiently is not a measure of cost, speed, or quantity. Rather, healthy efficiency is measured in how little energy is needed to accomplish our primary tasks. We consume energy from coal, oil, gas, electricity, and edible, solar calories. The less energy, and matter, we require in the benevolent performance of our primary tasks, the healthier we all will be. Because our units of measure of efficient performance are misplaced, our mutual health and security is dysfunctional as well. When our attention shifts to caring well for all of Life, rather than an untimely demise of the ‘survival of the fittest,’ the peace, vitality, and security which has been freely given to All on this planet will be finally realized.
Strangely, of late I’ve been thinking about reincarnation. Sometimes I ask myself the question which others have wondered, “If I come back, what would I like to be?” At one time, I thought to return as a sea gull would be nice or a red-tailed hawk. I’ve considered coming back as a porpoise or a manta ray. Most recently, my preference, if given a choice, would be a wild, flowering, fruit-bearing tree. The seed of a tree is able to synthesize sun, soil, and water into a perennial source of food, beauty, and shelter for others. The roots of the tree intermingle with the roots of others to create a matrix that is stable and difficult to overturn. A tree patiently experiences the seasons of the year like human’s experience the breath of life. A tree sings, communicates, and dances by way of the wind and prefers stillness to war and wasteful consumption. And when they die, as Marie Ponsot once said, they do so into usefulness.
Oddly, from a human perspective, trees seem to know something we do not: how to live well, care for others, and do so with little noise and few inputs. Humans may be the newest, youngest, most complex species on the earth, but I’m not sure that means we are necessarily the most highly-evolved. We have much to (un)learn, much work to do. Fortunately, many good teachers have come before us. Please, won’t you join a quiet revolution of the heart? For this, All will be grateful.