Celebrate! And seven other ecological values for a meaningful life

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When thinking about ecology and sustainability, what are the issues, words or images that pop up in your mind?  If I may guess, what comes up is probably a mix of things like nature, green, organic, bicycle, electric car, windmill, agriculture, recycling and so on.

An ecological way of living however is much more than merely ‘greening’ our way of living.  Celebrating for example has been defined as an ‘ecological value’. Just like connection, openness, generosity, appreciation, partnership and dialogue.

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Let’s see how we can integrate more of those into our lives!

  • Connection is about the relationships in your life. Do you feel connected to the people around you? The neighbourhood, village or town you live in? The people who produce the food that is on your table every day? Cliché but true: we are all connected. Feeling this in your bones is really wonderful.
  • What could you do today to show your appreciation for some of these things, people and places that you are connected to? Give someone a compliment, thank them for being in your life, take well care of the place you live in right now and appreciate your body for carrying you so well through life.
  • Besides appreciating others in your life, could you think of something generous that you could do for someone else this week?
  • Do you manage to stay open to new people, new experiences, situations, feelings and emotions that come and go in your life all the time? The only thing that we can be sure of in life is that everything is always changing. We better be well equipped for that!
  • We talk a lot about passion in life. But many of us do not always have a clear passion in our lives. There is however always something that evokes our curiosity. Find something that you are curious about and start inquiring See where it brings you!
  • The next time you talk with someone, take a short moment to think about the nature of the conversation. Are you really talking with each other? Or is it merely a one way conversation, a heated discussion, argument or even fight. Try to become more aware of this and practise having dialogues. Which, I must admit, is not always easy.
  • The other day I was interviewing someone about something he was proud of. This man had built a beautiful house all by himself. But he told me he was most proud of those things he made or accomplished with other people. Creating something together is a process of itself that teaches us a lot. You might go faster if you go alone, but in the end we come further if we go together*. With whom can you partner up to get something done together?
  • Last of all let’s not forget to celebrate this life and each other. We can never have enough parties in our lives, but celebrating is not only about that. To celebrate someone or something also means ‘showing your admiration and approval’. Let’s celebrate each other, in all our uniqueness and diversity.

*African proverb

References:

O’Sullivan, E., & Taylor, M. M. (2004). Learning Toward an Ecological Consciousness: Selected Transformative Practices. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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