When I was in graduate school, my dad took me to see Alanis Morissette at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati on a cool, summer night. When we walked in, a bit late, the opening act was already on stage.
One guy, one guitar, and a haunting voice- I fell in love with Alexi Murdoch’s music that night. My favorite song, All My Days, always gets me in the mood to write- it is so peaceful and pensive. I even ran my first marathon listening to the album Time Without Consequence over and over.
I loved Alanis’ new album debuted at that concert, too. Flavors of Entanglement boasted quite a few heart-wrenching songs related to her then-recent breakup with Ryan Reynolds. There was one song, however, that was a noted juxtaposition with the other broken-hearted tracks. I thought Citizen of the Planet had a powerful message:
I come alive and I get giddy- I am taken and globally naturalized
I am a citizen of the planet
From simple roots through high vision
Her phrase- Citizen of the planet- stuck with me. We think of ourselves as citizens of our cities, our states, our countries…but often we lose sight of being, first and foremost, citizens of Earth. Native American culture stressed appreciation for nature and the world that supports our every breath. In our modern society, however, we have often lost this clarity. It’s so easy to be absorbed by technology and ease of access.
It is also easy to transfer responsibility of sustainability to someone else- assuming others will worry about it.
Part of being a dietitian is knowing where food comes from. When I was a child, I remember wondering if an egg was a dairy product. It was in the dairy aisle? It was in the same food group- the protein group? I was clueless and confused because the supermarket is set up in such a way that we don’t have to consider the origin of our food.
We also don’t have to consider the true cost. This includes the used water, soil, time, and energy as well as the damage done- waste products created, and pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics used- as a result of having food that is readily available to us.
I know we all have to eat, get around town, use electricity, travel, and generally have a splashin’ good time with life, but doing so thoughtfully, mindfully, and with great appreciation can help us to decrease our negative impact as citizens.
Having enough to eat is a fundamental right, I believe. In order for us to exercise this right, our home has to continue to be supported and nurtured. It isn’t guaranteed that we will always have the kinds of food we want, when we want them.
This is why I decided, almost a decade ago, to stop eating meat as it is less sustainable than plant-based proteins.
I also started recycling. Trying to be more mindful of food waste. And I appreciate that taking care of the environment is my responsibility too. The choices we make every day have ripples. Kindness is contagious. Taking care of ourselves is contagious. Good deeds are contagious.
We are all here on this floating, twirling, beautiful globe, and focusing on sustainability is one way to ensure we will continue to remain here. From simple roots to high vision– it is both the small deeds and the large endeavours that impact this world.
Thanks for reading today.