The way we treat each other is how we will treat the environment.

Since last September I have had the honor and privilege to know and work with Dr. John Francis (aka “Planetwalker”). Today while I was walking, something he said in his Ted Talk inspired deep reflection. Towards the end of the talk he said “The way we treat each other is how we will treat the environment. Because we are the environment.” 

I thought about this statement in relationship to the name I’ve chosen to walk the world with, “Earth Pilgrim,” and how as we walk together, whether through our cities or rural areas, we are reconnecting with the Earth. We are citizens of this beautiful planet and although I walk primarily focused on meeting the needs of humanity, I believe that as we learn to serve one another, we will also be serving the Earth and the environment.

When we connect with each other at a profound level, we see ourselves in one another and are also invited to see ourselves in the environment.

What do you think about the statement “The way we treat each other is how we will treat the environment. Because we are the environment”?

Please share a comment and let me know.



9 thoughts on “The way we treat each other is how we will treat the environment.

  1. This reminds me of a saying my dad used to tell me: A third class citizen litters, a second glass citizen doesn’t litter but also doesn’t pick up litter, and a first class citizen does not litter and picks up for other people who litter. I feel like that fits in with what you’re talking about because the first class citizen is careful to do the right thing but also help those who don’t thereby helping people and the environment at the same time. Just something else to think about.


  2. From a Christian perspective for me, we are made from earth and when we die we will go back to being earth. That says I have a closer kinship with Earth than what we believe … we are its decendants and to divorce ourselves from that is cutting of a part of ourselves. I really believe we are deeply spiritually connected to everyone and everything so to treat it like we would treat ourselves would reflect that. 💚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think we should go more deeply in the statement and change it into: “The way we treat ourselves is how we will treat others and the environment.” Because once you´ll understand that you´re everything – in the sense: me and world are One – then you´ll realize immediately that also the others, the nature itself, all of them are very same, and we all are environment and vice versa.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Well. These bodies are of the earth. No matter our thoughts, we cannot escape this irrefutable fact. If we do not care for the earth’s environs, these bodies will not be sustainable. The imperative here seems to be to recognize one another as fellow travelers on this earth; to recognize the unity of all life. Then I think the conclusion naturally and logically flows that what I do to you, I am also doing to myself. We develop compassion and empathy, to whatever degree.


  5. It’s another way of saying something that should be blindingly obvious to us already. And since it isn’t, thanks for saying it again in another way. Because each different explanation is a key to unlock understanding for someone.

    I mean, come on! We eat each other, we are eaten in our turn. This isn’t scary, or horrible, it just means that we are made of each other. We are part of this incredible whole that is this world. We borrow our bodies from each other and give back bits of them all the time. Everything that comes from any of us is food for something else and so we as a planetary organism are one. So we’d better realize this and treat ourselves well.


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