Could Practicing Mindfulness Help Save Our Planet?

To begin with a brief background, I have been practicing mindfulness since junior year of high school. Junior year, I was diagnosed with anxiety disorders and gastrointestinal issues, which were interconnected. Though I have tremendously progressed, these illnesses are something that can never fully be cured. Something I wish I could have shared is that mindfulness is not just a mental “reset” or just to clear your brain. It rather resets your entire body and the science behind that is fascinating. For example, I practice mindfulness not just for my anxiety, but for my gut issues as there is more serotonin in your gut than your brain. So when my gut health is poor, it causes a domino effect on my mental health as well. The reason I mention this relationship is because I think it relates to what we are facing in society today. We have “illnesses” in our own world which we will never be able to cure. That does not mean we don’t have the ability to change for the better. Though last post I wrote on how the planet is its own and deserves its own rights, we are still connected with it. So whenever us humans are unhealthy, it is affecting the planet as well. This leads right into the argument of globalization. In the “yes” article the author, Kwong, definitely brought to light how some things I previously thought as negative can actually be positive. Can globalization actually help the earth? The answer in short is yes, it possibly can. Globalization essentially, would boost our economy by creating more jobs, keeping healthy competition, and giving us a sense of freedom. For example as mentioned in the reading, a socialist economy has been known to produce more pollution and waste. That is simply because different economies have different incentives and motivating factors. So if there is no sense of ownership or freedom, no one has the motivation to take care of the planet. Personally I will admit, if I didn’t own the land I lived and worked on, I really would not care too much to improve it. It is completely natural for humans to think this way. Though we must change our thinking. Globalization could possibly be one way to do that. By boosting the economy, we can spend more money on research and finding sustainable, alternative resources. Additionally we can make long term investments in items that would otherwise be short term and wasteful. However, we can not fail to recognize the negative effects of globalization. There is high risk that cultures could be washed away and we will be stripped of natural resources. These are serious social, economical, and ethical issues. If we are not thoughtful, globalization can be destructive. Time is also a consideration. Globalization would not start to show positive effects for a long period of time, possibly much longer than the time it takes for nature to be completely depleted of resources. It is important to note the difference between “it is good” and “it can be good”. Globalization has the potential to destroy our planet to a horrible point of no return. Is it a risk we are willing to take? That is a question we must consider. I certainly think we can borrow some ideas from Kwong and try to find our true motivations. If we are not motivated, we will never progress. So no matter what route we choose to help our planet, we need to focus on our intentions. I know one thing for sure, mindfulness is definitely one way we can find those intentions. 

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