Earth Day is a time for people around the world to celebrate the planet and all that it provides for us. It is also a time for us to think about what we do to the earth on a daily basis, whether it be good or bad, and how we can be kinder to the only home that we know. Earth Day is also an important time for people of faith to reflect on The Golden Rule. This rule is a common thread in religions and cultures around the world, from Buddhism: "Putting oneself in the place of another, one should not kill nor cause another to kill," to Islam: "That which you want for yourself, seek for mankind," to Christianity: "Do to no one what you yourself dislike," and even to Wicca: "An it harm none do what ye will." The Golden Rule, which essentially encourages people to treat others as they would want to be treated, is extremely applicable to Earth Day.
During this reflection, people should remember that even the simplest action like driving your car to work has an effect on the planet, that like like a tree being cut down, cannot be reversed. Along with that, many people take for granted the resources that they use everyday just through routine choices like what kind of food they buy or clothes they wear or how many lights they turn on in a day. This begs the question: are we treating the earth with like we want it to treat us? We rely on it to provide food for the animals we eat and the plants for the cotton in our shirts and the rivers for the dams that run our televisions, but what many fail to consider is how the earth also relies on us, in a symbiotic relationship. By eating more responsibly, (i.e.- organic foods that are produced without harmful chemicals) or even dressing more responsibly (i.e.- avoiding purchasing clothing that is made with harsh chemicals) we can make a significant impact on the health of the earth, and the well-being of society as a whole.
In the book Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future, one of the contributing authors, Starhawk says, "At this moment in history, we are called to act as if we truly believe that the earth is a living, conscious being that we're part of, that human beings are interconnected and precious." This perfectly identifies the key point that not only are humans responsible for treating each other with respect , but are also responsible for treating the earth with respect because ultimately, we are all interconnected.
The Universal Life Church embodies the spirit of Earth Day every day through our belief that‚ "We are all Children of the Same Universe," and therefore are all interconnected and interdependent. This belief can be translated into becoming more aware of not just the way we treat the planet and each other, but the way we treat ourselves. By living a a lifestyle that is well balanced spiritually, financially and holistically we can be living examples of the spirit of Earth Day.
For more information on Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future, please visit the link below: