The Dalai Lama writes that “Because we all share this planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony about peace with each other and with nature. That is not just a dream but a necessity. We are dependent on each other in so many ways that we can no longer live in isolated communities and ignore what is happening in those communities.”
Here is some more of his wisdom about our relationship to the planet:
Today we understand that the future of humanity very much depends on our planet, and that the future of the planet very much depends on humanity. This has not always been so clear to us. But now human use, population and technology have reached that certain stage where Mother Earth no longer accepts our presence with silence. In many ways she is now telling us, “My children are behaving badly,” she is warning us that there are limits to our actions.
Today’s world requires us to accept the oneness of humanity. In the past, isolated communities could afford to think of one another as fundamentally separate. Some could even exist in total isolation. But nowadays, whatever happens in one region eventually affects many other areas. Within the context of our inter-dependence, self-interest clearly lies in considering the interest of others.
If we unbalance nature, humankind will suffer. Furthermore, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any other. It is therefore part of our responsibility towards others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy as, if not healthier than we found it. This is not quite such a difficult proposition as it might sound. For although there is a limit to what we as individuals can do, there is no limit to what a universal response might achieve. It is up to us as individuals to do what we can, however little that might be. Just because switching off the light on leaving the room seems inconsequential, it does not mean we shouldn’t do it.
On a certain day, month and year
one should observe the ceremony
Thus, one fulfils one’s responsibilities,
serves one’s fellow-beings
which not only brings one happiness
but benefits all.
Copyright (c) Mary Craig in the arrangement and Introduction.
Adapted from The Pocket Dalai Lama (Shambhala, 2002).