How do we use our resources?

August 23, 2016

conservationSurprising, isn’t it, how Albert Einstein was such a deep thinker on so many different subjects? Including religion and, it seems, conservation.

I love his suggestion to “freeourselves” by being more inclusive in our compassion. Sometimes, it feels like there’s too little compassion to go around, especially when it comes to nature.

We can be a selfish people because as a whole, we’re a culture of excess.

Both stay warm.

But only one makes an unnecessarily large fire, thus burning up all the firewood and producing way too much heat and flame.

When I saw this on a card a while back in Santa Fe I thought about how accurately it describes our culture of unnatural excess. Big cars, big trucks, mega-mansions, megalomania. We over-fish, over-hunt and over-do. We don’t just cut, we clear-cut.

When do you think we’ll learn that our resources are finite and that using more than we actually need — way more than we need — is an irresponsible way to live?

Walking around beautiful Yellowstone National Park last summer I was so taken with the way our first national park has been cared for. How its beauty remains largely pristine. And when I saw wildlife, which was all the time, I watched others try to get as close as possible, while I was happy standing at a distance, watching them go about their daily routines without bothering them. It wasn’t necessary for me to get close. It was enough that I saw them and that they could live without my disturbing them.

The beauty around us speaks more clearly to me now that I’m older. I appreciate it more. I love being out in nature, whether it’s traveling to a national park, admiring the Pacific coast or hiking in the Santa Cruz mountains.  There’s a part of urban-me that wants to live in a beautiful natural setting to be able to appreciate daily the gifts the Divine has bestowed upon us. Because we really are lucky and we need to take care to conserve those gifts for future generations.

There are many opportunities to give to organizations that fund conservation efforts. Or to a national park. I love the idea of donating to one of those groups in lieu of giving holiday gifts. Because it’s a gift that will endure.

I’ve even stopped sending flower arrangements for funerals, instead choosing to honor the deceased by planting memorial trees in a U.S. National Forest. It’s a beautiful way to memorialize a loved one.

This week, wouldn’t it be lovely if we each did one thing to widen our circle of compassion? Something to help wildlife or our environment?




29 comments on “How do we use our resources?
  1. Love the tree idea as a memorial. I’m a big recycler and reuser whenever possible. I refuse to buy things in the store that are packaged in small convenient sizes–those over wrapped things. But when it comes to the wildlife/environment I can’t automatically think of what I might do?

  2. As always, your post provokes us to think, Carol. I think part of why too many of us have so little appreciation/regard for nature is that we’ve lost touch with it, living in urban settings, our noses stuck in devices. Thanks for the concrete suggestions for ways we can help conserve our natural environments for those who come after us.

  3. I just wrote about compassion today too. We certainly need more of it. As for saving our land I heartily agree. When my father-in-law recently passed away (we don’t give flowers in the Jewish religion, although my employer did send a stunning bouquet) several people planted trees in Israel. I think that’s a great tradition that we’ve been doing since, well, forever. Conservation – we need it now!

  4. I love Albert Einstein quotes! This is a great post! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Helene Cohen Bludman says:

    I had the same reaction when I visited Yellowstone a couple of years ago. The natural beauty, the animals roaming free, the majestic mountains and burbling streams … so important to preserve this treasure!

  6. I agree as we get older we appreciate much more. So true.

  7. What an amazing quote, I have never thought of that before. It really is amazing as we get older how much we appreciate smaller things in life.

  8. tara pittman says:

    That quote from the native american is any eyeopener. We do tend to get selfish.

  9. That is a fantastic quote. Why can’t we just appreciate the beauty of nature rather than feeling we have to control it or abuse it?

  10. Amy Jones says:

    Nature is literally the best gift we have as human and sometimes we overlook it and destroy it. I wish more people would worry about conserving our natural eviroments

  11. Elizabeth O. says:

    There’s another word that coincides with conservation and it’s efficiency. A lot of people think that being efficient means limiting yourself but really, it’s also a great way to conserve, isn’t it? That quote with the Indians is very accurate. We use our resources like it’s unlimited and we couldn’t care any less. It’s disappointing and alarming.

  12. GiGi Eats says:

    I am from Jackson WY… So about 90 minutes from Yellowstone. I was blessed to grow up in Jackson and honestly, now that I live in Los Angeles, I appreciate my home so much more. I finally went back home for the first time in about 2.5 years (during the summer, oh man, I hadn’t been there in at least 8 or 9 years) and it was just as I remembered it. Amazing. Stunning. Remarkable. Breathtaking. I would never ever take Yellowstone/Jackson for granted. And I love that I can escape to its beauty whenever I need or want to!

  13. Karlyn Cruz says:

    I hate it when I see news about abusing our natural resources. Instead, we should be taking care of it as our paying back.

  14. I love the quote about the fire and it is so true! My daughter has been studying conservation and how we can stop waste. I’m going to pass this along to her 🙂

  15. Dhemz says:

    What an eye opener. I kind of like the idea of planting memorial trees than sending funeral flowers to honor someone who passed away. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Nicole Escat says:

    Our mother resources should be conserved by now. Our future generations may be suffering of what we have done in our nature today.

  17. Wendy says:

    I was just talking about how I am really making an effort to slow down and appreciate the little things in life. I find with each passing year this is more and more true!

  18. Kendra says:

    Such a great quote from Einstein and your post is so beautiful! I believe that most of us can live with a little less.

  19. What an amazing post. There is so much deep thought here. I see as I’m getting older, I take much less for granted and appreciate everything with a different sense of myself. If only we can learn these things as youth.

  20. Azlin Bloor says:

    I believe progress is a double edged sword. We certainly need to bring back compassion in so many ways. My kids and I do regularly clean up our local beaches and parks with friends, this is my way of teaching them how to respect the environment. The tree planting in memoriam is a brilliant idea.

  21. We basically “over-do” everything, especially in so-called developed countries. 🙁

  22. Lisa Rios says:

    Such a wonderful post & I love that wonderful quote from Einstein so much. Planting memorial trees is such a great idea which is definitely a beautiful way to honor the loved ones & also help indirectly to the future generations.

  23. Liz Mays says:

    I think compassion should definitely extend to the world around us. We have to make some big changes in how we treat the environment as a society.

  24. Eileen Kelly says:

    So true. My Pappy was a farmer in Ireland and didn’t get the idea of the US just chopping trees everywhere. When he passed, we asked for trees to be planted and it was so comforting to see the trees over the years.

  25. Emily says:

    We certainly need more compassion in this world. This was a nice post and a nice reminder of how important it is to care for nature.

  26. I’m a big fan of our national parks and love exploring them. Planting memorial trees in a U.S. National Forest is such a great idea instead of killing flowers. I love this idea.

  27. Berlin says:

    I love how you see things. Instead of flowers , prayers or planting trees is better. It is something real noble.

  28. There are so many ways to give back, I wish more of us did.

  29. Kathy Kenny Ngo says:

    You never fail to impress me with your writing. I love your thoughts. Very heartwarming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Follow Carol


Here you’ll find my blog, some of my essays, published writing, and my solo performances. There’s also a link to my Etsy shop for healing and grief tools offered through A Healing Spirit.


I love comments, so if something resonates with you in any way, don’t hesitate to leave a comment on my blog. Thank you for stopping by–oh, and why not subscribe so you don’t miss a single post?


Subscribe to my Blog

Receive notifications of my new blog posts directly to your email.