We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
We borrow it from our children.
-Native American Proverb
Asteya is the Sanskrit term for “non-stealing”. I was recently invited to consider this concept. Initially my reflection was concise: I don’t steal, that’s pretty basic. But with more consideration and reading about world events, I started to ponder the the proverb about borrowing the earth from our children. The question arose:
Am I borrowing or stealing the earth from future generations?
How we treat the planet today impacts what is left in 5 years and 5 millennia. This planet has an amazing way of healing itself and on top of that, ecological change is inevitable. A volcanic eruption will cause far more harm to the air than all the driving you could possibly do in one lifetime. And yet, does that dismiss the part you and I play, however small, in caring for the earth and its inhabitants?
We all have a different role to play in the grand scheme. Each person makes a difference; at least to a few people, plants, perhaps even animals, you make a difference in the lives of those around you, as well as those influenced by the people and creatures you impact.
How do you feel inclined to impact the planet?
Have you appreciated the crisp smell of the cooling air?
Do you conserve energy by turning out lights when you leave a room?
Will you grow herbs, flowers or a tree to clean the air and brighten the day of someone who passes your home on a grueling commute each day?
We aren’t all meant to be global activists to the extent of Vandana Shiva, but by listening to your inner truth –you may think of this as “following your gut reaction”– can bring out a little better version of yourself and help shape a world that is a bit more welcoming than you first found it.
Will you remove a bit of its beauty or offer a brighter planet to those yet to come?