A human being is part of the whole, called by us “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole [of] nature in its beauty.
We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
—Native American Proverb
There is a sufficiency in the world for man’s need but not for man’s greed.
When we heal the earth, we heal ourselves.
We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong we may begin to use it with love and respect.
Waste is a tax on the whole people.
—Albert W. Atwood
The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.
When we are at peace with God we are better able to devote ourselves to building up that peace with all creation which is inseparable from peace among all peoples.
—Pope John Paul II
There is hope if people will begin to awaken that spiritual part of themselves, that heartfelt knowledge that we are caretakers of this planet.
—Brooke Medicine Eagle
The activist is not the man who says the river is dirty. The activist is the man who cleans up the river.
Environmental sustainability is not an option—it is a necessity. For economies to flourish, for global poverty to be banished, for the well-being of the world’s people to be enhanced—not just in this generation but in succeeding generations—we have a compelling and ever more urgent duty of stewardship to take care of the natural environment and resources on which our economic activity and social fabric depends.
By accepting responsibility, we take effective steps toward our goal: an inclusive human society on a habitable planet, a society that works for all humans and for all nonhumans. By accepting responsibility, we move closer to creating a world that works for all.
—Sharif M. Abdullah