Because we humans are more likely to protect what we love, loving this beautiful earth and its myriad species is key to ensuring that we actually save the habitats and ecosystems upon which all life – including our own – depends. Which is why savoring should not be considered wasted time, unless we fail to balance the savoring with the saving. But those who deeply savor will be unlikely to be satisfied for long without some form of action. The love that draws us to savor will too easily turn into sorrow without the effort of saving what is in such critical danger of being lost. As Joan Baez once said, “Action is the antidote to despair.”
For me, it is my passionate love of this extraordinary planet that has fueled my fierce desire to create change. Just as virtually all mothers (of every species that raise their young) fiercely and courageously protect their children from harm, by nurturing our love of this earth and its species, we are likely to be that much more committed to making a difference. When we may be less fierce or courageous is when we take our breaks from the saving by entertaining ourselves with gossipy news or cynical TV shows or violent movies that leave most of us more apathetic than engaged.
E.B. White’s quip that it can be hard to plan the day when we awake torn with a desire to save the world and an inclination to savor it, might have a simple solution. Perhaps the best advice is to take some time every day to savor the world and feed ourselves with the joy that ensues. This joy will not only enrich our lives, but will also likely fuel our commitment and passion to save this beautiful planet. And for many of us who have dedicated our lives to making a difference in the world; to learning about the problems of our time and fighting injustices; to averting the looming catastrophes we face; this daily savoring may also be the key to preventing burnout and remaining lifelong changemakers.
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