If this article compels you to want to do something to change this problem we face as a world, please consider joining with others in adopting a minimal lifestyle. The less you consume and throw away everyday, the less garbage that goes into our oceans. Not only that, but your example and compassion will help others to make these kinds of choices too.
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Whales are eating plastic trash, dying, and washing ashore. It happened this summer in the Netherlands (technically the whale got stranded and THEN died); it happened this spring in Spain. Here are the guilt-inducing, gory details of the latter:
Most of this plastic consisted of transparent sheeting used to build greenhouses in Almeria and Grenada for the purpose of tomatoes for the European market. The rest was plastic bags, nine meters of rope, two stretches of hosepipe, two small flowerpots, and a plastic spray canister. Cause of death was intestinal blockage.
A WORLD OF UGH. We don’t know the details of what the dead whale in the Netherlands swallowed, but we know there was plastic in there, so you can bet it’s more of the same: stuff we buy and throw away. And it doesn’t even take much — a 20-year-old Cuvier’s beaked whale died in 2006 after eating a…
This image and story is circulating from Huffington Post and going around on Facebook. The koala wants to go home, but there is no home to go to because it’s been destroyed by loggers and deforestation. If you want to check out this sad story, go to Huffington’s article.
On Facebook there are over 300 comments on this poor bear’s plight and what we humans are doing to its natural habitat. This is one story among thousands around the world that talk about what deforestation is doing.
Who’s Fault is This?
The only problem with these stories, is we all talk about these issues as if we don’t have anything directly to do with them. When we think of deforestation, we think of loggers and corporations, and somehow place the blame there, or out there, or away from ourselves. The disconnect with doing that is it leaves us feeling helpless as though there is nothing we can do to help the endless amounts of animals and environment being subjected to our issues of consumerism and pollution.
Psychological and Spiritual Effects of Pain and Suffering
It may seem far-fetched to some, but when we witness these sorts of pains and suffering in our world, it affects us emotionally and psychologically. It affects our soul to see such hurting and usually compels us to move in such a way to stop the hurting. But when we witness things through technology via images and movies, it stunts our ability to act, as well as emotionally connect with this natural compassion we have within us.
People react differently with this sense of helplessness to give directly to the source of this pain. Some jump right in to a good cause, others become apathetic and have to push it out of their mind. Or some find a mix between the two extremes of doing something and doing nothing. Most of us fall in that category.
No, but seriously, what can You do?
The truth is, we can do something. Something very effective and powerful to stop, slow down, or bring more awareness to things like deforestation and other issues that are effecting us all, not just the animals. It only took one photographer/reporter to alert thousands about this ONE koala. But we all have a part to play, similar to this photographer’s part in the awareness aspect.
No matter what our professional passions are though, we can all change our lifestyles in such a way that we can greatly reduce the impact of our consumerism and pollution that is taxing our natural resources at both ends. And this is powerful and many are already doing this. But the real power comes from all of us doing it together and yet in our own way. Supporting one another and encouraging people to take steps in the right direction through positivity.
We can’t beat each other down for eating meat or not eating meat anymore. We have to allow for the hypocrisies just enough to compel each other to do more in a compassionate way. To love more so that changing our emotional addictions becomes easier. Piling emotional pressure on addicts of many kinds only creates more situations for a “fix.” But compassion helps us to let go of negative emotions, which in turn help us heal from these consumer addictions that are hurting us all.
Be kinder to yourself and others
When we look at images of a koala sitting on a pile of wood chips, knowing it sat there for an hour, confused and really think about that. Let it sink in. We can become empowered knowing that for every material thing you can let go of, you are helping countless other species not face this same plight.
Doesn’t it make you wonder what we are doing as a world when many of us already know that stuff does not make us happy? And when we ask, what does make us happy, the documentary, Happy, gave us three fundamental values each human looks for in happiness. We want our own personal identity, to connect deeply with others, and to give back to the world.
Some of the happiest cultures have far less than Western cultures do. They focus on these elements of life to sustain that inner need. And we can emulate these other cultures ourselves. You don’t have to scale back so far you are depriving yourself, it is tough to live a different way other than your culture. But chances are, you own way more than you know what to do with and are suffering from debt, responsibility and being overworked in ways that are not fulfilling to you. If you aren’t, then maybe you know other people who are, to which I hope and congratulate you being a positive influence to them!
Can we share common goals for the future?
We all have the same goal in mind. We want to live a great life, be happy and leave a legacy and share a great planet. As humans, it is our duty to help one another do this by taking care of our common areas together, just as roommates would in a house. Our common areas are the environment and all the species, including us, that live within it. We are a tribe aren’t we?
If you feel like your impact is insignificant, you might be right in a sense. We cannot work alone on a project of this size. But, if you realize that every person doing their part will amount to the greater whole, then your efforts become very powerful as you gently lead others toward the same direction by example. We need leaders who are awesome at positively steering others towards behaviors that not only benefit the self, but also all others as well. It takes a lot of courage to lead people this way, rather than relenting to critical and negative behaviors towards those not doing their part, but stick with it long enough and you will reap the benefits.
Even the smallest steps will take you somewhere
If this poor koala really touched your heart, please consider a Minimal lifestyle. I promise you, it is the most amazing lifestyle you can choose for yourself because the effects on you will be so profound and direct. Everything about your life will change and you will experience a freedom and happiness you never knew existed!
You don’t have to deprive yourself, just choose more wisely. Refuse to own things that don’t lift you up and motivate you to do more and be more in this world. What you get rid of is different for each person. More importantly it’s an ideal that helps you to buy less in the future and spend more time an energy on your passions.
Personal development is deeply tied to social and environmental change. If you want to make these changes but you’re stuck in a rut, overwhelmed, scared, or confused on how to start, please don’t give up. Sign up for my blog (or any other countless blogs) as I continue building more content that will further your efforts to directly impact these issues in your life inside and the world out there. And always feel free to leave a comment or question below. We all deserve the very best in this world. Every person is important, every species is important, and the environment is important. Our Souls are Our Power to change this!
I just watched this video with Marisha Ray from BFD on Take Part TV.
Here is the comment I left on her video:
The portion sizes American’s eat are usually 2-3 times larger than what the body actually needs. Over-eating is not good for your health. Reducing portions and buying organic, as well as purchasing bulk will not only make food stamps stretch along with the food, but also reduce cost in over-the-counter medicines and other household products. As a side benefit, you produce less waste into the environment.
Read the comments below her video for other inspiring ideas on how to make your diet healthier and more affordable.
The truth is, if we all learned to live on less food, in a healthy way, we could all contribute to the hunger issues not only in our country, but around the world. And as a double solution, many bulk items and fresh produce have far less packaging than conventional and processed foods. I used to throw out my bulging plastic garbage bags once a day when I ate processed and conventional foods. When I switched to a more organic and environmentally friendly diet my pollution naturally reduced itself both in garbage and recycling.
When you consider the carbon footprint of producing, packaging and delivering food, the health implications of an American diet, and then the removal of the waste a diet like this causes, you can see that the more American’s that realize this perspective of thought, the faster we can make a huge impact on our consumerism and pollution problems.
What do you think?
On an island in the Pacific, 2000 miles away from any land, is an island of birds. See what is happening to them. Insatiable desires of consumerism are giving us great consequences with our pollution. You can DO something about this by changing your lifestyle. A minimal lifestyle and conscious awareness will bring you happiness, fulfillment and a passion to help change our world. For more information, please subscribe to my blog.
But for now, watch this video. It made me cry. These aren’t the only animals effected by us.
You can get involved in any organization through money or volunteering, but what we also need is people willing to help the massive pollution problem by changing their lifestyle.
In the beginning of this video, narrator Edward Olmos talks about heroes. We all have this inner want to do something great. But just like this video indicates, sometimes doing something really great isn’t being famous. Sometimes doing something really great is just choosing to consistently work on one problem everyday without fail.
If this video inspires you, consider a lifestyle that is minimal. The reason we have so much factory pollution is because the people demand it through what they buy. If you change through effective personal development what you want decreases. You want less, spend less, become happier, and put less of a strain on the environment.
Evaluate the decisions you are making. Get intelligent with your spending and find ways to reduce your consumerism and pollution on this planet. You may only be one person, but when you do something enough times it gains momentum and becomes contagious to others. You will be a hero to all of us for standing brave and making a few sacrifices in your personal life for the sake of others and the environment.