During my walk, before the author even told me to imagine the suffering in the world, I was already imagining it. When she said to imagine you’re being breathed by life just lie everyone else on the planet, is when I started to imagine all the human suffering. It made me really sad to think about all the people in the world who can’t live a fulfilling life. It was a little bit harder for me to imagine environmental suffering because I like to work with refugees, and so I’m quite educated on their suffering.
Then for the next exercise, I sat down on the grass with my dog (because he gets tired after walking for like 5 min). I chose leaves as my representation of what we are losing in the world. At the time I did not think of it this way, but the leaves I used will soon die, and that’s an added representation of the environmental crisis. I thought of all of the species that are endangered or already have become extinct; to think that our world is losing a whole kind is saddening. Then I thought of animals who’s homes are being destroyed for the use of commodification. Following that, I thought about all of the sea life, how all the water they inhale, like the air we inhale, is polluted with toxins, oil, and garbage.
I don’t particularly deal with the crisis as much as I should. Like in the reading, I tend to ignore the problem or keep quiet about it, unless there is an easy and achievable fix. But fixing the planet is not easy at all. I don’t keep completely quiet but I do make conscious choices that will benefit the world, I’ve moved out of the mindset of “this won’t make a difference anyways.” I’m not entirely sure why, but its easier for me to imagine and address human suffering (refugees, etc.) than the environmental crisis.
I feel like this reading made me temporarily more aware of what I should be doing to make a difference as apart of my agency. Like the gratitude reading, I felt like I should be more thankful for things and express my gratitude, but that did not last so long. I hope this one lasts longer and then I can work on making more mindful practices happen.