“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth…” (3 Jn. 2).
Last week, we began an introductory discussion about emotional wellness . This week, we will be taking the discussion a little further by beginning to focus on the third dimension of wellness: environmental wellness.
Environmental wellness is “our ability to acknowledge our personal responsibility to contribute to maintaining a positive impact on the air, land and water surrounding our communities”. This refers to ensuring that we are taking care of the needs of the planet, which also have a direct impact on the quality of life for humanity. As we refocus our perspective on being a wise steward of the gifts we have been granted to participate in Kingdom Living, we recognize that the planet and our environment are also parts of it all.
“Environmental well-being includes trying to live in harmony with the Earth by understanding the impact of your interaction with nature and your personal environment, and taking action to protect the world around you…”
The best example of environmental wellness can be observed in the book of Genesis. In the second chapter, we learn:
“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food…And a river went out of Eden to water the garden…And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it…And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field…” (vv. 8,9,10,15,19,20).
Creation was brought forth for humanity to enjoy. Although humanity was granted the stewardship over creation, initially, there was a balance in creation and harmony existing between humanity and the rest of creation. Every thing was used within the parameters of its original purpose. Ultimately, things changed. After the abnormal use (abuse) of one specific area of creation, chaos and disorder entered.
Chaos and disorder always enters the sphere of influence once something has been used outside of its original purpose. Wherever abuse occurs, the initial relationship is forever altered. Although the relationship between the abuser and the abused can be restored, the nature of the relationship lacks the original form that was once present. Something worth mentioning about restoration, however, is that although there may have been damage to the relationship, the original purpose of those involved never changed.
In relation to our discussion, we may never be able to completely reverse the damage humankind has inflicted upon the Earth in every area. However, there remains hope because we can make every possible attempt to rethink our destructive behaviors, which can result in slowing down the destructive processes. As stewards of this planet and our communities, UCR suggests that our environmental wellness involves “several aspects of both personal and societal responsibilities”, including:
- Being aware of the earth’s natural resources and their respective limits,
- Living a life accountable to environmental needs, both in the present and in the long-term, and
- Realizing the effects of our daily habits on the world around us.
As with many things, this would require an additional effort on our parts, individually and collectively, to become better educated about what has been done to disrupt the harmony between humanity and the world around us. Once we have done this, we can, then, become better educated about what we can do in terms of reducing further abuse of the environment around us. Any positive action we take is a step in the right direction. We may not be able to reverse every damaging consequence of our activities, but we can still make a difference if we begin to take the necessary measures now to ensure that there is a planet left to save.
Ask yourself, “How is my environmental wellness? Where do I find myself in relation to the above discussion?” Next week, we will begin a discussion of occupational wellness. Next week’s discussion will be followed up with continued discussions on healthy lifestyle choices based on our understanding of each dimension of wellness. I would appreciate any feedback from anyone as this is a community effort to living our best life in honor of the One Who has given us this life to live. Love God…love others….love yourself!
Sean Mungin, author of “The Thorn In The Flesh”