@ChangeChallenge, @CommonSense

The question “environment” and you yourself

With some regularity it is reported in the media: the environment.
Whether it is politics, using the “environment” to secure other interests and relationships, or the supermarket that sees a new market and promotes more and more bio-goods, you are confronted with it everywhere. Waste separation, consciously dealing with energy consumption, so-called healthier life ….


Ah … I put that word on purpose.
If you have to follow all the rules that self-proclaimed experts give you, then you can not do anything anymore. So many opinions, so much contradiction, so many sponsored media reports …
I am well aware that there are healthy foods, that exercise is needed (I also do fitness and walks) and that rest and sleep are essential for a person. But it can also be a bit too much of a good thing, and you might not feel comfortable in your own skin if you take part in everything that is forced upon us. Every person is different, physically and mentally, and therefore has different needs and possibilities. No statistically average healthy behavior fits in with that. As far as I am concerned, there may be differences between how people deal with health, as long as they are careful not to exaggerate. The word “too” may not be used (too much, too little, too salty, too sweet, etc.).

Life is complicated enough. Everything is moving fast, and the subcultures of behavior within our society are rapidly growing apart. Added to this is the influx of foreigners with their own identity, and the exposure to global problems that used to be really far from your bed. We are therefore constantly under pressure to give ourselves a place in our world. And then we also have an environmental responsibility.

How do you deal with that as an individual?
Sometimes it seems as if the whole burden of environmental awareness rests on your shoulders only! You feel morally burdened because you may not be able to do everything to save the world from an environmental disaster. Even the small things can be difficult, such as deciding which plastic belongs in which container (and whether something is plastic, paper or metal … sometimes absolutely not obvious!). If it was only the environment… but you also have work, family, acquaintances … And your own baggage from the past that you have to deal with …

Many small bits make a big difference!
You really do not have to become the morality knight of the environment. People who see their calling in there are much better at that.
You can start with the awareness that we all live on the same planet. It has produced us, sustains us, and takes us back when our time is over. That alone is enough to love this world! If you then also enjoy all the sometimes miraculous beauty that nature offers us, including all creatures, alive and “dead”, then you have created a condition to now and then ask yourself: “What I do NOW, does that damage this world? In present and future? Can I do that differently, so that the balance between giving and taking remains?”

What I do NOW, does that damage this world? In present and future?

How far you go in that is up to you. What you can endure. You leave aside that store that you know is not taking environmental requirements so close? Do you skip that greasy oliebol with really nothing nutritious inside? From now on you’ll ask for cooked potato instead of fries (which are easier and cheaper to serve for a restaurant)? Do you sell your car and do everything with public transport and bicycle? Are you going to reform your friends because they are very negligent about animals and the beauty of nature? These are all individual choices.
But one thing … Do not fool yourself (you should never do that, by the way …): your brain always wants to make it easy for you. Simple choices, weak apologies and so on. Then better be honest, and do not lie to yourself and others. Just say that you are not ready yet, that you can’t do it (now), or whatever. Let your surroundings know how you think about it, but that you do not do that much with it at this point in time. That is honest with yourself, and that way you prevent a nagging guilt feeling about your choice. Because that is really bad! It is precisely these kinds of feelings that are fueled by the media, politics and companies to seduce you into certain behaviors. To say that you do not lend yourself to this works enormously liberating, and gives you the strength to excel in what you do!

Environment and you are inextricably linked. That gives a mutual obligation of giving and taking to live together in good relationship. But in the right size, with different choices for everyone and also a different balance.

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