#DolphinsLiveWell: The World’s Wellness
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More stories from Maria C. Randazzo
November 10, 2016
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Last Friday, April 22, was Earth Day. On this day in 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment. Through massive coast-to-coast rallies, thousands of colleges and universities came together, organizing protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, gas-guzzling cars, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized that they shared a lot of common values. These groups came together, and by the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
Environmental wellness inspires us to live a lifestyle that is respectful of our surroundings, encouraging us to live in harmony with the Earth by taking action to protect it. Environmental well-being promotes 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.
Pope Francis believes strongly in caring for our earth as well: Laudato Si is Pope Francis’ Encyclical on the environment or more formally, On Care for Our Common Home. Laudato Si means “Praise be to you,” which is the first line of a canticle by St. Francis that praises God and all of his creation. Pope Francis identifies the goal as follows: “In this Encyclical, I would like to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home. I urgently appeal, then, for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation that includes everyone, since the environment challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all.”
He believes that what is needed is “an ‘ecological conversion,’ whereby the effects of their encounter with Jesus Christ become evident in their relationship with the world around them. Living our vocation to be protectors of God’s handiwork is essential to a life of virtue; it is not an optional or a secondary aspect of our Christian experience.” Nevertheless, Pope Francis references his thoughts and motives towards environmental wellness not only for the Christian community, but also for every culture, race/ethnicity, age, gender and so forth.
How can we be intentional in our engagement with the world around us?
- 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
- Realizing the effects of your daily habits on the world around you
- Volunteer time to worthy environmental causes
- Be mindful of my surroundings at all times
The world around is our “common home” and we need to take care of it, nurture it, and preserve it for future generations!