- Author: Lena Suponya
This content was created by faith-motivated youth like you and may not reflect WWF’s views.
I could say that experiencing the distant sounds of insects and leaves initiated my interest in environmental conservation; but it would be more accurate to say that this experience began a shift in my identity.
I was sitting in a meditation room in Vermont, and was asked by my Buddhist instructor to listen to my surroundings. He asked me to listen to every sound, near and far; to both hear and investigate. Following these instructions, I heard the sounds of nature like I had never heard them before. I heard things as obvious as leaves rustling through wind to much more subtle sounds such as chipmunks scurrying through grass. I had never before taken the time to do this and my appreciation for this opportunity increased with every minute.
The experience brought with it a profound, wonderful feeling of deep connection to the outside world. Superficial concepts that I had been preoccupied with were beginning to disintegrate. As I continued to meditate, I realized that it takes two to make a sound, one to construct the sound and another to listen to it. And with this realization I quickly came to the conclusion that we are all connected.
My realizations were not all positive. At one level, nature seemed to be beautifully bestowing its graces upon me. At another, I imagined the plight of animals suffering their fate, and I realized how, as a society, we have not paid adequate respect and attention to our natural environment.
The meditation discipline of paying attention was not easy; but accepting the fact that nature and its inhabitants are being destroyed is harder. I knew from then on that preserving our natural environment is my calling, my purpose in life.
Although survival of the fittest has led the world through generations of evolution, this should not be our motto when considering the earth as an entire ecosystem. Humans are the fittest, but that does not give us the right to eliminate the competition. We often only extend our minds to what is comfortable, but we must learn the horrid truth about the implications of our actions.
WWF's Sacred Earth program works with religious leaders and faith communities who best articulate ethical and spiritual ideals around the sacred value of Earth and its diversity—and are committed to protecting it.