Earth Day, Every Day!
This seems like this is a phrase we hear with increasing frequency as we approach celebrating Earth Day, but then a few weeks later we have all returned to our everyday routines.
But are things finally shaping into a new normal? Over the past two years, we have experienced more change than we ever thought possible—a global pandemic, an economic shutdown, and in parallel, a growing focus on climate change, leading up to the SEC’s recent announcement to incorporate climate data into public firms’ financial disclosures.
And in concert with these elements, a refreshed and progressive approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within large and small, public, and private organizations, and a renewed commitment to environmental justice by our federal government and their state counterparts.
Has humanity reached a new level of enlightenment?
But then we turn around and we also see devastation of the worst type in Ukraine, with global humanitarian and environmental repercussions that are certain to extend well into the future.
Two steps forward, one step back? So much progress and then, regression.
Within our own organization, we have been excited to bring together elements across each of these areas and to launch our own internal Apex environmental, social and governance (ESG) and DEI resource library. As our team worked to develop these materials, we were struck by how critical it is to establish community and connection and to have programs and policies that are authentic and fit within our existing company culture.
One of the resources we identified during this process is “Habits of the Heart” by Parker J. Palmer. These “habits” offer a unique perspective on deeply ingrained ways of seeing, being, and responding to life that involve our minds, our emotions, our self-images, our concepts of meaning and purpose. The five habits are as follows:
- An understanding that we are all in this together.
- An appreciation of the value of “otherness.”
- An ability to hold tension in life-giving ways.
- A sense of personal voice and agency.
- A capacity to create community.
As we build our own programs, we seek to practice these five habits, and we encourage you to do the same. Why? Because the human aspect of residing on earth cannot be ignored. It is humans that have the power to destroy and humans that have the power to heal. It is humans that start and end devastating wars, and that disregard or villainize those that look different or believe in different things.
When we honor our own voice, that of others, and can live in harmony despite our differences, and seek to use our power and our energy for good, we can see that we are indeed all in this together…and that is where community arises.
We only have this one life, and one planet. Let’s practice ways to honor it, and all the people and creatures who inhabit it.
Apex Associated Press (Apex AP) represents contributions from various authors within the Apex professional community.
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