We Shape Our Environment and Our Environment Shapes Us
Like every other species, humans are shaped by the environments they inhabit. To a degree different than any other species, we also have the power to shape our environments. With great awareness and power come great responsibility.
It's written into biology: The habitat determines the health of a species. If I want a garden with healthy, thriving plants, I don't single out individual plants to focus my attention on; I focus on creating a healthy environment for all the plants to thrive. Our cities, our workplaces, our families, our homes, our culture, our natural landscape... We have the uncanny ability to alter each of these at unprecedented levels, but we are also being shaped 24/7 by our surroundings. One of my bits of feedback I hear at our office is that people begin to feel better when they first arrive. Health is in the habitat, it's in the atmosphere. This isn't by accident, it is designed and created that way day by day. Even for me, when I go to work I can feel a shift in my physiology. I'm active, I'm present, I'm engaged. I feel good. I have worked to give shape to this experience and now I have the privilege of coming into that experience myself. Where things aren't working so well, it is for the same reasons: How we have affected our environment (choice) and how we are being impacted (the effect).
This might not be a mind-blowing revelation for anyone else, but it has been for me. We are profoundly shaped by our environments and we also have immense power to shape them. Therefore, take ownership of your choice and how you show up, mindful of both what you create and what you receive.