Earth Day 2011 – A Level Up In Our Thinking


The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.
Gregory Bateson

All possibility and potential exists in changing the way we think.

With all that we have learned about neuroplasticity, embodied cognition and our patterned biosphere we are ready to learn more. Gregory Bateson, thinker ahead of his time and author of “Mind and Nature – A Necessary Unity” was emphatic that everything be taught in terms of relationship.

The great naturalist John Muir wrote it this way:

“When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe. “

Do you have a pet peeve? I do. It is this word: “the”.

One of the highest compliments an organization, community or business can receive from a client or member is an expression of ownership and belonging. This connection shows up in our language.

When “the” becomes “our” or “my”, there is connection, community, creativity and commitment.

These seemingly small words are major game changers and level ups that shift our thinking, feelings and behaviors.

Here are two “level ups” for changing our thinking:

1. Decide to speak, think and feel in terms of “our environment” instead of “the environment”; “our planet” instead of “the planet”; and, “our earth” rather than “the earth”?

2. Notice how our media consistently supports an illusion of separation with language. (Thinking back to how much “the Gulf” was used rather than the more accurate “our Gulf”, etc.)

Would this change foster a more deeply appreciative and active relationship between humans and our biosphere? The results may surprise us.

Let’s make this word change an ongoing Earth Day game for ourselves, our families, and organizations. The win will be the benefits of better choices that come to us naturally.

We are healing ourselves and our world by changing the way we think…word by word.

Watch this trailer for the new Gregory Bateson documentary.

Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day in 1970. Our Earth Day 2011 is this Friday, April 22nd. <

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