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W&W April Prompt / Repair the Earth

Tikkun Olam

Following the detours

These birds are sitting on a fallen branch in a lake. But, one day, this same scene could be birds sitting on the rooftop of what once was a beachfront hotel.

Here at Weeds & Wildflowers, we celebrate nature. We post photos of birds, butterflies, bees, flowers, oceans, trees, gardens, vegetables, and an assortment of wildlife. We write about hikes through nature, boating, about our tomato plants, and even ice-fishing. But, do we think of how much longer we’ll have the privilege of waxing poetic about what we take for granted?

Alan Asnen recently wrote this piece for Weeds & Wildflowers:

and it really got me thinking about the tenuous situation of our world.

Too many people are climate-change deniers. Too many focus on making money rather than supporting sustainability. Too many vote against compassion while voting for fear and hate.

When I finished reading One Flower Isn’t Enough, I immediately thought of the Hebrew term Tikkun Olam that I learned at the funeral for my friend and former neighbor, a woman who was a social activist and a writer of “environmental mysteries”. Her stories were mysteries with an environmental message. Her rabbi said that Marjorie lived Tikkun Olam.

Tikkun Olam means repair the world and specifically applies to the Jewish concept of performing acts of kindness to heal the world. Those acts can be related to the environment or social justice, which are often intertwined, as Alan explained in his piece.

I am not Jewish and can’t speak about how people of the Jewish faith practice Tikkun Olam. I simply remember the rabbi saying those words, and they stuck with me. Now, Alan has revived them.

This is not a political publication but isn’t everything a least somewhat political? Aren’t we all responsible for the future we pass to the next generation?

I’ve been honored to publish the work of other environmentalists like Rob Moir and Desiree Driesenaar, so I revisited some of their work. The fact that April 22nd is Earth also seemed relevant.

With all this swirling in my mind, I set aside the April writing prompt I began formulating weeks ago to jump into the environmental fray.

Our April prompt is Tikkun Olam: What are you doing to help the environment?

You don’t have to be lobbying Congress or holding signs at protests. You don’t have to be doing something splashy — most of us aren’t or can’t. But, what are you doing? Recycling regularly? Composting? Providing food for your family from a garden? Giving your garden veggies to a family in need? Providing financial support for an environmental organization? Teaching your children about sustainability? Do you participate in a garden co-op? Do you write articles on Medium or elsewhere about climate change or about social justice for those who are most affected by changing climates?

Maybe you aren’t very involved right now. Perhaps, you’re mired in life with little time to do what you want to do to heal the world. What are your plans and wishes for the future?

Let’s do something new this month. Let’s work to save the environment we love so much and let’s share our Tikkun Olam actions with one another. Maybe you have a sustainability practice that I can incorporate into my life. Perhaps I know about an organization that you would like to support. Or, maybe, you want to share a story of what your town is doing to increase recycling participation. Plus, there’s always room for the more politically active ones who do want to lobby Congress and hold signs at protests and write about their experiences.

So, tell us, in prose, poems and photographs, what are you doing or plan to do to repair the world?

What is your Tikkun Olam?

Please make one of your tags Writing Prompt Response.

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Dennett

I was always a writer but lived in a bookkeeper’s body before I found Medium and broke free — well, almost. Working to work less and write more.