by Mary Eshet,
The cycle of the moon gives us the opportunity to celebrate a new beginning, not just at the New Year, but every month. A chance to begin again, a moment pregnant with possibilities and hope.
The first day of the new lunar month falls on the eve of Earth Day, first observed on April 22, 1970. This annual observance both honors environmental achievements and raises awareness of the issues still threatening Earth’s ecosystem.
It is not a big leap to also see Earth Day as a call for unity. Protecting Earth is the ultimate unifying goal. A goal that all can agree on and work together to nurture this planet we call home.
The data and trends of climate change are alarming. We are reminded on this Earth Day that we must act urgently to protect and preserve our planet. Surely there is no time for hate, persecution, or injustice that divides us.
People of all ages, faiths, races, and backgrounds find their own way to help save the Earth, not just on Earth Day, but all year long.
Amy Brooks Paradise is a U.S. organizer for GreenFaith, an organization that is building a global, multi-faith movement to create a “sustainable, just future.” She says she and her colleagues are focused on root causes, not symptoms. They exert pressure where it can effect true change, such as sources of money and permitting of fossil fuels. GreenFaith says, “together is how we win.”
Amy also serves as president of the board of MeckMIN, the Mecklenburg Metropolitan Interfaith Network, whose mission is to promote interfaith collaboration to foster understanding, compassion and justice. “People of all faiths want to care for things. Our traditions – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and others – teach us to heal, to care for others and for our planet.”
Amy remembers 2017 as a time of despair, as she thought of her daughter’s future in a world that seemed to be destructing. She notes that it can still be disheartening to realize the lack of progress and the state of the environment today. However, she finds that action helps. “I fight every day to make it better,” she said.
Charity Rivers is a freshman at Queens University majoring in conservation biology. It’s a new major for the university, and Charity believes it will attract students. She credits her passion for the environment and sustainability to her early education in a Montessori school in South Carolina where there was a focus on gardening, class pets, and the natural world.
Charity hopes to form an environmental club at Queens. Meanwhile, she is tackling things she can directly impact – like getting recycling bins for the dorms. “I know people say that only a small percentage of items are actually recycled, but every bit helps,” she said.
On this New Moon and Earth Day, we offer a prayer, not only for the physical environment of this planet we call home, but also for greater unity and justice for all humankind. If we were to imagine viewing Earth from the distant perspective of the moon, it would certainly be clear that all of us are so much more alike than different, and that the too-prevalent hate, violence, inequality and injustice in the world are senseless.
At the Stan Greenspon Center we know how it is to feel despair about the hate and injustice in the world. Like Amy, we too find the best way to counter that despair is to act with positive energy every day. We know that the actions we take and the education we offer will solve only a small percentage of the problems. Like Charity, we believe every bit helps.
As GreenFaith says, together is how we’ll win. Please join us and learn more here.