Wednesday, December 12, 2007


The first commandment of sustainable living is “know thy environment”.

That sentence -- written in haste in my last post -- nagged me, tugged at my mind and kicked me in the shins demanding a retraction. It's not true. I knew it when I wrote it but somehow it slipped out.

In the recesses of my memory were sentences from the New Testament: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." My statement was quickly typed and poor parallel to "this is the first . . .".

There are two things more important than knowing our environment. First is the knowledge that we are an intimate part of our environment. The environment isn't something "out there", something distinct from us nor something in which we reside. We are as much an integral part of the environment as are trees, hills, air, deer and rivers.

The second more imporant item is a reverence and love for our environment. Failure to respect our environment is a failure to value ourselves, our families and our friends. Of ironic interest to me is the fact that the two sentences above from the New Testament are followed by this sentence: "And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." I define neighbor as all that exists -- human and non-human, animate and inanimate.

So, I would retract the sentence from my last post and affirm that more important than knowing our environment is to revere our intimate environment. That which we revere we learn and come to know.

The first commandment of sustainable living is “revere thy environment”.

The second commandment of sustainable living is “know thy environment”.

Reverence without knowledge is vanity. Knowledge without reverence is heartless.

(Soon, hopefully, a description of my immediate environment and micro-climate.)


Blogger Buffalo said...

Don't you have to know something, or someone, before you can revere and respect it/them?

12/13/2007 11:34:00 AM  
Blogger arcolaura said...

Reverence without knowledge is vanity.

Thank you very much for that thought. That could be very helpful to bring to mind sometimes.

12/13/2007 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger MojoMan said...

As Dick Cheney might say, revering the environment is a personal virtue. There are not enough of us who would act to protect the environment out of love and respect. We are too selfish and/or ignorant. We need more tangible incentives. I'm one of those who think things like high gas prices are a good thing. I would support more taxes on things like gas if the money went to conservation efforts.

12/18/2007 05:45:00 AM  

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