Today is World Environment Day. Pretty much everyone who is active on social media – from ordinary folks to politicians, from activists to spiritual leaders – has been busy posting some appropriate picture or message or quote about it. Why we must take care of the environment, how we can do our bit for the environment, etc etc. Plant more trees, respect the rivers, save electricity, consume less, launch a community cleanup drive, etc etc.
All that made me think if I did anything specific today that might be considered particularly ‘good’ for the environment. I didn’t plant anything new, I didn’t particularly do anything to save electricity, I didn’t participate in any special cleaning project in the community. (Since I didn’t go shopping, perhaps it may be said that I didn’t purchase any useless stuff. So I at least have that!)
But did I do something specific environment-friendly today?
I believe I did. I weeded.
Yes, I did a lot of weeding in my little garden this morning. I pulled and plucked a lot of unwanted, pesky little things from several pots, from around the pots, from the ground, from around the corners near the garden wall. I divided some plants for re-potting by eliminating some of their redundant growth. I trimmed some vines and shrubs.
I also got the gardener to cut down two overgrown bamboo trees that had become severely bent under their own weight during some strong winds last week and were blocking a particular corner.
What, you say? I got the trees removed instead of planting something new. And I call this environment-friendly action?
Of course, it is.
Gardening is not only about planting new things, it is also about eliminating that which could be choking the growth of the things we plant. A beautiful garden not only requires colourful flowers and healthy plants. It also requires, perhaps to a greater degree, a harmonious growing environment. An environment that facilitates right kind of growth for right kind of things. An environment that is regularly cleaned up by removing all that is unwanted and unnecessary.
Kind of like us. Isn’t it?
Being environment-friendly also means knowing what is to be eliminated. This is true for individuals, societies, nations. And of course, for the environment.
Weeds are the bane of the fields; delusion the bane of mankind. Therefore whatever is given to those freed from delusion yields abundant fruit.
Weeds are the bane of the fields; desires the bane of mankind. Therefore whatever is given to those freed from desires yields abundant fruit.
~ Mother’s commentaries on the Dhammapada, CWM, Vol 3, pp. 286-287
Linking with ABC Wednesday, W: W is for Weeding