Keep it clean

What if the well-being and prosperity of this planet and all its inhabitants depended on you? On your every thought. Decision. Word. Every action? What if your very breath nourished the Earth?

You are vital to the health of the globe. Every cell in my body – and yours – is a microcosm: an intricate, delicate, complex representation of the entire universe. When each part does its job, the system operates flawlessly, miraculously, and divinely. When one part of it is slightly off kilter, the delicate balance is disrupted. Just like a finely tuned machine, well-being relies on a number of essential pillars that hold its structure together. These include – not in any particular order – nourishment, sleep, movement, relaxation, stress release, mental stimulation, spiritual practices, and authentic social interaction. Small steps, practiced every day, are enough to honour that balance. More is certainly not always better.

Our thoughts affect the balance. Our actions reverberate into the world. Every. Single. Action. Our mind goes through 50,000-70,000 thoughts a day. Here is an example:

You roll down the window of your car. Before you toss the cigarette butt out into the street for the ‘government’ to clean up after you because you are entitled and you pay taxes… and why would one tiny cigarette butt make a difference in the grand scheme of things?

You realize the craziness of your entitlement and hypocrisy. Think before you consider tossing anything anywhere. Your actions make a difference. Your one cigarette disrupts the balance. (Incidentally, so does your smoking.)

A tissue; a plastic bag; the remains of your sandwich from your weekend picnic in nature that you put alongside your baby’s soiled diaper: these cause a major disruption to the balance of the machine of life.

All is not well with the world. We are gravely out of balance. We need to examine where we have gone astray. This is empowering. It puts us in the driver’s seat and removes us entirely from the comforting, disempowering state of victimhood we have chosen. The world does not owe us anything. Our breath alone makes us owe the world everything. We owe it to be well, think well and act well.

This may well be a very simplistic argument. My experience has shown that simplicity is the most effective tool to effect change. And Lord knows we need change.

We could change this whole world with a piano

Add a bass, some guitar, grab a beat and away we go

I’m just a boy with a one-man show

No university, no degree, but lord knows

Everybody’s talking ’bout exponential growth

And the stock market crashing in their portfolios

While I’ll be sitting here with a song that I wrote

Sing, love could change the world in a moment

But what do I know?

Love can change the world in a moment

But what do I know?

—Ed Sheeran

Small steps are key. One day at a time. We can make mindful choices about the food we choose to put in our mouth, the quality and quantity of our sleep, the way we move our bodies, our goddess time, reading time, prayer time, friend time. It all adds up. You will feel so good that you will want to do it the next day and the next. And maybe next time you are out for a walk and you see trash strewn in the most affluent neighbourhoods in town, you will pick up what you can, and set an example for others so that they think a thousand times before they consider littering again.

The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.

— Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him)

Love can change the world. So can faith. I have no doubt about this.

But what do I know?