Ray Grigg

Decision making for dummies

The Books for Dummies series now comprises 274 titles, ranging from Tarot for Dummies and Hockey for Dummies to Sex for Dummies.

So, in the complex and often confusing world of environmentalism, perhaps a few words on decision making are timely.

As news reports on unfolding environmental crises stream from multiple directions, the pressure to make intelligent decisions has become palpable. How do we function within this milieu of heightening pressure? Some people just shut down because the tension is too great, an escape strategy that is ultimately unhealthy for both themselves and everyone else. Avoidance is no longer an option.

Others feel overcome by idealistic expectations, immobilized by countless demands, as if the weight of the world — like Atlas in Greek mythology — has been placed on their shoulders. But a way does exist to ease this overwhelming sense of burden.

Begin by accepting that nothing you can do singularly will save the planet from ecological trauma. This spares you the debilitating burden of owning the whole problem as personally yours.

But you can contribute to solutions. As a small part of a vast movement of altered awareness and behaviour, great changes can be effected. So, how do you participate wisely?

Begin with principles. Once you understand and accept the veracity of a particular principle, then the direction of many detailed decisions is essentially determined — once gravity is accepted as universally operative, then separate decisions do not have to be made about the safety of high places. Similarly, if you accept the notion that our planet is being overheated with anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, then the integrity of your thoughts and actions requires at least a token respect of this principle.

This doesn’t necessarily mean a rigid and radical adherence to every detail relating to the principle.

Once the principle is acknowledged and respected in general terms, your thinking and behaviour will automatically move in the direction of compliance and consistency. Education and simple awareness will reduce the effort required to adhere. Informed opinions are wise investments of consciousness — whatever is lost in efficiency will be gained in a clear sense of purpose and peace of mind. Inner contentment is worth more than outer gratification.

As another general principle, you might remember that you’re only passing through this world; you’re not staying here. If you can’t improve the ecological fabric of your surroundings then, as a gift to future generations, try to leave it no worse than you found it.

Give less attention to your ego and self-gratification; you’re not as important as you think you are.

A sense of humility will help you make concessions to the living world that enfolds you. You are part of an ecological wholeness that is constantly striving for balance. You belong to it; it doesn’t belong to you.

Go gently, patiently and respectfully wherever you are. Show compassion — moths, earthworms and even trees are engaged in the same struggles that occupy you.

Avoid being forceful and aggressive. When the circumstances are not ready, change will be resisted; when the circumstances are ready, change will be received.

If, in the beginning, this seems difficult, it will eventually become easy enough to be effortless.

Then you will wonder why instructions were necessary.

Just Posted

Restoration work on destroyed Campbell River wetland expected to be complete next year

Remediation work on sensitive wetlands south of Jubilee Parkway is expected to… Continue reading

Volunteers needed to keep St. John Ambulance Brigade alive in Campbell River

The St. John Ambulance adult brigade in Campbell River needs at least… Continue reading

Curiosity is Celia Haig-Brown’s saving grace

While completing her undergraduate degree and even before that, Celia Haig-Brown said… Continue reading

Campbell River RCMP request help locating missing youth

Campbell River RCMP is requesting the public’s assistance in locating a missing… Continue reading

Practice Muster

Campbell River Fire Department takes part in Great ShakeOut 2017

VIDEO: Canada C3 expedition members play basketball with Campbell River Special Olympians

An unprecedented Canadian expedition from coast to coast to coast landed in… Continue reading

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Campbell River man’s memory lives on through helping others

The legacy of Campbell River’s Lyndon Cross lives on. His family members,… Continue reading

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

All three victims identified in Fernie arena ammonia leak

Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta

B.C. woman plagued by bedbugs on airplane not surprising, says expert

Heather Szilagyi was on a British Airways flight when she noticed bedbugs crawling out of the seat

4 B.C. prisons install body scanners to combat drug smuggling

The scanners are aimed to combat the smuggling of contraband including weapons and drugs

Most Read