Letter from Publisher
Relationship, one of the most primal and basic building blocks of life, is defined as a state of being connected. Friendship, this month’s theme, is an elemental form of relationship that’s core to marriage and family, business partnership, team play, practitioner and patient, service provider and customer. This month, I’m thinking about the intrinsic rewards of being a friend to the environment.
Like any worthy relationship, being a friend of the Earth must be intentional, nurtured and valued if it is to thrive. Like the covenant maintained by partners in a friendly marriage, our conscientious partnership with the planet keeps everything from falling apart and failing. Our timeless instruction manual, the Bible, illustrates the wisdom of honoring these God-ordained relationships which strengthen, protect and help us demonstrate dominion—stewarding, caring for, protecting and championing good results “until death do us part.”
In considering how our marriage with the environment is doing, we ask: Does it embody the qualities of a good friendship?
Judith Fertig’s feature article, “The Power of Friendship: It Sustains, Nourishes and Supports Us,” posits friendship as a type of health club, in which each party actively works to consciously develop their empathy, forgiveness and compassion muscles. I find it fascinating that these muscles are the same ones that enable us to develop and sustain a caring relationship with our home planet.
Our friendship with the environment shows up in myriad ways: minimizing our carbon footprint through daily choices of products and services, powering our home and office with renewable energy sources, using recycled materials and products, refusing to use plastic bags, promulgating and supporting legislation and legislators that preserve, expand and maintain green spaces and acknowledging more that needs to change to diminish the effects of climate change. It also shows up in educating friends and family about these measures and encouraging them to follow our example. Like any friendship, we have faith that humanity’s relationship with Earth, too, can be nurtured back to health.
In Kay Lindahl’s inspiring article, “Deep Listening,” she lists this first step in effective listening practices: Pay attention to the environment. I love applying this to the broader context of listening to the needs of the planetary environment we all rely upon for health and well-being. Without it, nothing works.
As always, we hope you enjoy our offerings this month and find information, inspiration and encouragement that enable your journey toward an ever more green and healthy, happy and sustainable life.
Bernice Butler, Publisher