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Gina Stepp has a master's degree in forensic psychology with an emphasis on trauma and resilience. As family and relationships editor for Vision, she examines the role interpersonal connection plays in ensuring human well-being.

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People and the Earth: A Relationship Worth Keeping

  
  
  
family and relationships

Marc Ian Barasch's new book, The Compassionate Life: Walking the Path of Kindness, is scheduled to hit the bookshelves in June. A Yale graduate and award-winning author and television producer, Barasch is also founder of the Green World Campaign, a charity working to "reforest our planet, raise the living standards of the rural poor, and combat global climate change." 

If Barasch seems to have special insight into the human psyche, there is good reason. A former editor for Psychology Today, among other publications, psychology was one of his foremost areas of study at Yale. He was also one of the founding members of the psychology department at Colorado's Naropa University.

“Compassion isn’t simply opening a spigot and coating everything in a treacly, all-purpose goo,” says Barasch. “It requires a gut hunch that whatever I do unto others, I do unto myself. It calls for appreciating not only what comforts us but what pierces us. (Compassion comes from the Latin cum patior, ‘to suffer with,’ while apathy—literally, ‘not to suffer’—connotes a heart benumbed).”

While The Compassionate Life applies this philosophy mainly to human relationships, Barasch also applies it to environmental ethics, both in the book's epilogue as well as within his own sphere. Indeed, for each book sold, he has pledged a contribution to the planting of trees (on degraded village land within the developing world) in conjunction with the Green World Campaign.

Comments

I love the way you put things. I hope that the next time I converse with someone about the need for us to take care of the planet, I can remember some of the ideas expressed in this article. They make a lot of sense.
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 6:48 PM by Nona Nita
Good information! I will have to check it out further. Thank you. 
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 6:49 PM by INDRA PRASETYA
Also worth more than just talking and writing about it! 
Marc has done a fabulous job with The Compassionate Life, especially bridging the gap between caring for one another with kindness and caring for nature with as much dedication and devotion. Now, our next challenge is to go directly into the natural world with reverence and give back our love, gratitude and appreciation for everything non-human. By doing so, we will deepen that relationship worth preserving! For a direct experience, see: http://www.sacredpassage.com - all the best to you Marc and your Green World Campaign - Bud Wilson
Posted @ Monday, March 22, 2010 6:53 PM by Bud Wison
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