The Only Habitable Place

It’s starting to hurt to throw away stuff.

Reading The Story of Stuff this morning, I hit a point early in the introduction where I realize why this is.

In expressing why we need to care about the harm our consumerist cycle causes the planet, author Annie Leonard shares the following.

“People everywhere, but especially the poor, are experiencing crisis fatigue. Heck, there are flu pandemics, freak storms, unemployment, and foreclosure to worry about. The thing is, we don’t have a choice. In the words of Joseph Guth, a layer, biochemist, and the legal director of the Science and Environmental Health Network: ‘Nothing is more important to human beings than an ecologically functioning, life sustaining biosphere on the Earth. It is the only habitable place we know of in a forbidding universe. We all depend on it to live and we are compelled to share it… it is everything we have.”

Shrink the idea in this paragraph down, and I can say the same thing about my body: it is the only place I get to live. It is everything I have. I will do whatever it takes to save it.

Why wouldn’t that extend to the systems of stuff that help and harm it? The world that inhabits the people I love, the trees I hug for fortitude, the birds of prey and black snakes who guide spirit in dreams at night, and the air I cough out from my lungs and breathe in again, clean and deep?

I will do whatever it takes to save it. In the tiny ways I can.

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