Have you ever wondered why there is more ‘madness’ in built-up cities than in wooded suburbs and verdant countrysides? Social scientists will point primarily to the depersonalizing effect of sprawling metropolises, which spawns estrangement, loneliness, and violence, and they may throw in environmental degradation as well, as a lesser factor, but I will argue that the paucity of what I shall call ‘living green’ is the root cause of mental disturbance.
Green is a beautiful colour, the colour of hope, some would say, but I propose that ‘living green’ (trees, shrubs, grass) is actually an energy, a force, which serves to keep body, mind, and spirit aligned, and unrealized thoughts (i.e., idle thoughts) down to a minimum. It’s the reason people feel more serene, and problems get solved, sitting in parks and walking in woods. It explains why some of the incurably ill have healed by going back to nature, absorbing green through sight, taste, touch, even listening to the subtle tones of green. Were it not for earth’s green, life would be untenable.
In communities which have boxed themselves in with glass and concrete, and done away with vital elements of nature, we find that stress and illness reign. But the moment these communities return to the ‘living green standard’, replanting trees and grass along their streets, and in their yards and homes, we find a dramatic reduction in mental imbalance. Why? Because the signal between Spirit/soul and mind has been unscrambled, and the natural order of things reinstated.
‘Living green’ is not just decorative, it is essential, but the reality is, we have drifted so far away from our true nature, that we need extensive – and expensive – studies to prove to ourselves that living in harmony with trees and grass is vital for us. So I’ll drop a few facts and figures derived from Project Evergreen, a US based green industry group:
- Studies over a 30-year period in communities, neighbourhoods, housing projects and prisons show that when landscaping projects are promoted there is a definite increase in self esteem and a decrease in vandalism.
- A Cornell University researcher found that children who had the greatest gains in terms of ‘greenness’ between their old and new homes showed the greatest improvements in functioning.
- Studies also show that surrounding ourselves with ‘living green’ reduces ADD symptoms, diminishes road rage, encourages people to socialize more, heals hospital cases faster, spawns safer neighbourhoods, and enhances creativity.
When the energy of ‘living green’ flows through us, it realigns us with our true nature, thereby empowering us, and allowing us to be our highest possible selves. It’s a simple as that. So people, keep those trees in your yard, cherish the tree-lined avenues, and nip the degradation of grassy roadsides in the bud. Those of you in wintry parts of the world, make sure that at least one-third of the plants in your environs are evergreens, since they must do the work of their periodically dormant companions. Let our return to the ‘living green standard’ be a conscious one, fully aware of our reasons for doing so.