We take our first breath the moment we are born, and not until our last breath at the moment we die do we cease to depend on the air that surrounds us. Although most of us rarely attend conscious thought to it, we need air more than both food and water. (I can cut back on how much I eat, I cannot cut back on how much I breathe.) Clean air is essential for our survival.
When I first saw images of the air pollution in China, I was astounded. Here was irrefutable, visible evidence of how negative our human impact on the air and the environment has been! My second thought was that we all reside in the troposphere together. Like our water supply, the air that we breathe is shared, and there is no negative effect in one area that is not, eventually, felt everywhere else. I wasn’t looking at images of China’s air, I was looking at everyone’s air – mine, yours, our pets’, trees’, iguanas’…
Clean air, a healthy environment… these sustain us like nothing else – individually, as a species, and as living creatures on the earth. As human beings, we are all stewards of our environment, including the air that we breathe. Like our dependence on breathing, our responsibility for the care of our air is perpetual and infinite.
Today, as you take a breath, acknowledge your awareness that your health is inextricably tied to the quality of the air that enters your lungs. Experience gratitude for it, and make (or renew) your commitment to prioritizing its preservation.
What can you do – even in small measure – to work toward cleaner air?