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Buddhism has a great emphasis on both balance and compassion. With these two values in mind, dharma covers a wide range of practices geared towards allowing an individual to reach enlightenment, and for the same reason, these two values also dictate respect for the environment.
First off, Buddhist texts often describe the importance of balance, or in other words, concerning the whole world versus only ourselves. Everything in our surroundings has a connection. This state of mind is what allows individuals to be one with everything: mindfulness and emptiness gives a person the ability to observe everything at once, and protecting the environment is vital in maintaining that practice, for without it every single person would be missing a piece of him or herself (Palmer and Finlay, 2003). If nature was destroyed, we would be missing that connection. Moreover, that philosophy extends to compassion. Dharma explains how humans should show respect to everyone and everything, so it should be second nature—pun intended—that we do not intentionally hurt the plants, animals, and other creatures that coexist with us on this planet. The logic is if we take care of our ecological counterparts, they will in turn take care of us (Palmer and Finlay, 2003). Humanity clearly relies on Earth to survive, so ruining it would only harm itself. To that end, it is more than the understanding of generosity; it is the awareness of this connection that the environment should be preserved.
Buddhism has a very clear stance on the way individuals should treat the rest of the world. Through the understanding of equilibrium and consideration, the environment should be highly regarded and protected.
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