As much as atheism is touted as a fatalistic, deathly perspective, it is actually the most vibrant and alive. So many faiths preach the end of the world… but simply this is negative thinking! If we instead believe that we *ourselves* are responsible for our own survival, we will then take action, instead of waiting for divine intervention to end it all, Deus ex Machina style.
Things need to change regarding our mentality: We must stop valuing money. We must stop exploiting our planet’s natural resources as a source of income. We are completely unjustified to do this. What right do we have to deplete our stores of oil? Or our fresh water in aquifers? What about the atrocities we commit to create GMO products? And regarding factory farming of animals, different people have varying levels of what they think is exploitation. Some advocate for veganism, which unfortunately does not work for me, for whatever reason. Nevertheless, I believe that whatever resources we do take for ourselves, we must do with honor, and we must make efforts to replenish to the earth what we take, tenfold.
It is not even a matter of us not having discovered or invented the technology yet. We know damn well what to do, whether it is composting, solar panels or hydropower. (Again, don’t quote me.) The problem is not that we don’t know what to do. It is that people *refuse* to do what’s right, because they are greedy and want to fatten their wallets.
I only postulate ideas, all uninformed. I am not an expert on energy conservation, but I know enough that turning off the lights in a room I’m not using can help. Or bringing my own bags to the grocery store. Or declining a bag from CVS when I buy a power bar. I make my wasteful choices, I’m not going to lie. But I try to remain mindful at the same time. As we should all.
It is now so grim, experiencing 60-degree weather at Christmas time in a normally-colder region, New York. People bitch and moan about global warming, and yet people are happy at this “comfortable” weather. Wake up! We must cherish our winters. Instead of turning up the thermostats for comfort, we should lower them a bit and wear sweaters. Or maybe the cold can help us “develop character,” as Calvin’s father would say. Imagine that! By bracing the elements, or by living more basic lives where we are mindful of conservation, I believe that not only will we preserve our planet, but we will also develop mental strength and resiliency. This can then help to fight mental illness or dissatisfaction.
This being said, we should not allow ourselves to go in a backward direction, technologically speaking. We should still continue to prescribe medications that save people’s lives. (I certainly cannot live without all of my psychiatric medications, believe me.) Health care should not be declined to people who cannot afford it, nor should the working class be drained of every penny they have to pay for it as well.
There must be SOME way, eventually, that not only our cures help ourselves, but that they help the environment as well. Why does it have to be that the world suffers if we thrive? Again, I am no expert. But if we start asking ourselves these questions, we will then reprogram our minds, and then start developing solutions. It also is not only a task for scientists. Most of us can employ self-introspection, in order to improve character.
There are some who are opposed to all facets of the psychiatric profession. But in the very least, I think the process one undergoes in psychotherapy, individual with therapist, should be a process that everyone experiences. Those people who are unwilling to look at themselves will certainly be unable to accommodate themselves for the benefit of others. Or change their behavior at all. We need not employ draconian measures to impart this idea. Instead, people should simply be aware of “mental hygiene” as much as physical. We wash our hands before leaving the bathroom. We treat everyone around us with respect.
How can we make this happen? Must we cause our planet to suffer before we wake up? Or can we wake up now, and act with greater wisdom and cooperation? If not, our efforts to save ourselves will be as effective as a college freshman pulling an all-nighter to write a term paper. I hope people have more self-pride than to let this happen.