This I believe

Lauren - Bethel, Maine
Entered on April 21, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that it is my responsibility to try to reverse the damage that has been done to the Earth and its ecosystems. The Earth was not created to be a habitat for just one species, nor is one species by any means “better” than another. I recently had a debate with a friend, who believes the human species is superior because we have the ability to consciously create art. I believe art is the intricate design of a beehives nest and the grace an orangutan exhibits swinging from tree to tree. To me, art is anything inspiring, anything that shows compassion and life. It is my duty to help conserve this natural art for generations of all species to later admire.

I believe in my ability, and the human species ability to consume less and live more. Excessive consumption is not proof that one has a fulfilled life; it is proof that one does not know what to fill their life with in order to be happy. It is so easy to forget what really has the ability to make you happy. I feel humanity is following a dangerous path because not enough people are aware of the detrimental effects our present actions will have on the near and distant future. While we are still alive, and still capable of making our own choices, we have the power to change our direction and redefine progress. Many of our most valued experiences and traditions occur at no monetary or environmental cost. There is nothing more valuable to me than the aesthetic beauty of northern New England in mid-October when all of the leaves are changing. Every year, I will set aside time to wander for hours, not looking for anything in particular, just taking it all in.

Everything on Earth is connected, and I feel that in order for the planet to be healthy everyone must work to improve the health of his or her native ecosystems. I believe in a sense of place, and taking initiative in bettering the natural world that surrounds me, the world of which I am a part of. I believe it is each individual’s responsibility to take care of their neighborhood streets and local parks to form healthier social and natural communities. It is my responsibility to be the voice within human society of the smallest mussels and the largest bears, and to make sure their survival needs are met.

This is what I believe and this is why I will dedicate my studies, my experiences and myself to learning about and promoting a more sustainable Earth.