Good to Remember: We are All Family and the Planet is Our Home
For many, the concept of family has expanded beyond bloodlines to include friends, neighbors, colleagues, and others in the greater community. With so many lives experiencing traumatic events due to hurricanes, floods, wildfires and other disasters, now is a good time to remember the wise words of Louise Hay: “We are all family, and the planet is our home.”
For those who are experiencing traumatic events, a simple act of kindness, respectful listening and compassion from others can bring hope.
Ask a few trauma-informed individuals. I just spent two days at a conference in Portland focused on trauma, climate change, and resilience. The workshop was buzzing with mental health professionals, trauma experts, climate, and community activists. The task at hand was to learn how to help our communities heal from persistent toxic stresses caused by climate change.
A visionary network of individuals and organizations – called International Transformational Resilience Coalition (ITRC) – are proactively working on building trauma-informed, resilient communities able to cope with climate disruptions.
At the conference we learned about the different types of trauma caused by historical and cultural violence, racism, poverty, or manmade and natural disasters. I learned that adverse experience is a common thread that runs through each of us.
Healing begins with practicing self care, regulating our own emotions, and understanding cultural differences so that we may help others. To build transformational resilience and mobilize communities we’ll need to support natural leaders in local communities through collaboration, creative resourcing and changing narratives to rewrite the future.
For those of us who are able, practicing gratitude for life helps us tap into our compassionate selves, cultivate joy and laughter, and ultimately sow the seeds for community wellbeing throughout the world.
Did you know that gratitude is actually good for your health and wellbeing? Among the many benefits are better sleep, reduced depression, more patience and improved relationships. Gratitude can make us happier. If we were to make gratitude and compassion a regular practice, imagine the transformation in our communities.
The fifth sutra of the Aquarian Age is this: “Understand through compassion or you will misunderstand the times.” Compassion could be considered a higher form of gratitude. Embracing cultural differences, listening respectfully and practicing compassion is something we can each learn to cultivate.
In case you’re wondering (as I was), the Aquarian Age motto is: “How can my actions benefit the whole?” In stark contrast to our ‘what’s in it for me’ era characterizing the last 2000 years, this may take some getting used to.
Fortunately we have plenty of role models to help us find a more inclusive way forward. In addition to Louise Hay, a few of my favorites are the Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tolle, Thich Nhat Hanh, Dr. Martin Luther King, Malal Yousafzai, Vandana Shiva, and many others.
There’s no question we’re going through some tough times around the world, and climate change is bringing about swift changes from a warming planet. Reminding ourselves often – that we are all family, and the planet is our home – can provide a reservoir of gratitude and compassion to help others find their way back to a new and hopeful beginning.
” We are all family, and the planet is our home.”
– Louise Hay
Author: Kathryn Thomsen
Founder of Hundredgivers, a nonprofit supporting and accelerating sustainability initiatives benefiting local and global communities. Kathryn is a social entrepreneur, consultant, researcher, writer and urban farmer. She collaborates with individuals, organizations, and businesses to develop climate change solutions, clean energy, and sustainability strategies and programs.