Green Cities

Are You a Biophiliac? The Biological Advantage of Green Compassion

Are you a “biophiliac”? If you’re reading this and happen to be human, you probably are. The Compassion Games “Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week” coopetition is quickly approaching (April 18th – 26th) with the goal to ignite and amplify compassionate action around the world to protect and celebrate our only home, Earth.  At the Compassion Games HeartQuarters we often say that “Green Compassion” is the ultimate act of compassion, for its benefits reach far beyond our individual selves to all living beings who share this planet with us and future generations to come. As an ancient proverb says:

“Compassion is planting a seedling under whose shade you may never sit.”

Yet just because Green Compassion extends far beyond our individual selves it doesn’t mean the profound personal benefits, or even human benefits for that matter, should be overlooked! Western science is beginning to show us just how significantly our sense of well-being is integrated with the natural worlds. Human beings – as Indigenous teachings imply – appear to be innately predisposed to connect with nature as a necessity for good health, mental resilience, and even our sense of happiness and fulfillment. As for being a biophiliac, we may all want to start considering ourselves one. Biophilia literally means “love of life”, and is a term that was created to suggest that human beings have an instinctive love for the natural world that has been engendered by evolution to help us survive. In many ways this makes perfect sense: by caring for the Earth and the interconnected webs of life we depend on, they have cared for us back. Everybody wins. Compassion for the Earth is biologically advantageous! Even so, when we think of addressing the environmental and climate crises of our time, compassion and a “love of life” may not be the first strategic concepts that come to mind to evoke the change we now so desperately need. Nonetheless, when faced with the sheer magnitude of the critical challenges of our time, it is understandable that so many people experience denial, disbelief, despair, or even indifference as a way to cope with issues that appear to be so completely out of one’s control. What we all need, perhaps, is not just knowing what we are against, but fiercely knowing what, together, we are for. Which brings us back to compassion, love, and the spirit of friendly-competition as an untapped force for protecting and restoring the Earth. Mobilizing these qualities of human nature through the spirit of “coopetition” are what the Compassion Games were created to do. The Games are “culture hacking” our current thinking about competition, cooperative games, and are intended to inspire people to strive together, to do the heavy lifting of our time with a light, loving, and playful heart. Love This Place! is both a heartfelt statement and a clarion call, a challenge urging us to galvanize our love for the Earth and all we hold dear into compassionate action to make the world a safer, kinder, and better place to live. So… are you a biophiliac interested in challenging and playing with other biophiliacs around the world? Why not team up to show the world what your love is made of? It needs it! Game on! Learn more about how to get involved with the Love This Place! Serve the Earth Week Coopetition here! Check out the Love This Place! Story Mapping Challenge here.