In 1970, the Honorable Gaylord Nelson, a United States Senator and passionate advocate for protecting the environment, helped establish April 22nd as Earth Day, the national day for the environment. His ambitious endeavor compelled the World Federation of Buddhist Youth (WFBY) to examine methods to keep the most important human resource – our mind – pristine and to safeguard it from thought, speech or action that will cause others distress and ultimately bind us to the endless cycle of suffering. Hence, WFBY petitioned for April 22nd to be known as “Dhamma Earth Day” under the motto, “Clean the World, Clean the Mind.”
Earth Day April 22
If one stirs water filled with dirt, the water turns brown; but if one leaves it still, it becomes clear, as dirt is isolated. The same can be said about the mind; for if it remains still, greed, anger, and desire will be separated, and the mind itself will become purer.
This special occasion reminds us to think more about our responsibilities as residents of the earth. It is a great opportunity for us to review all of our activities that may affect the conditions of the earth in other words, the environment and any actions that we can do to improve the current conditions of the earth.
The conditions of the planet earth are changing daily due to two main factors: Natural phenomena and human activities.
The natural phenomena such as flood, wild fire, and storms are part of nature itself. They are the factors that help shape the earth. The earth we live in today is a work of nature. These events that affect earth conditions are difficult to control and may not be desirable to control.