Earth Day – Soft Skills in Nature

Today is Earth Day 2021. Unless you’ve been living under a rock like a centipede or some other creepy crawlie, you probably knew this. For a half century, since 1970, the world has celebrated Earth Day to honor Mother Nature and to bring awareness to climate change – now branded as “climate crisis” and “climate emergency” by Scientific American.

This may surprise you – but there are a number of similarities between Earth Day and our Soft Skills Academy. Let’s break it down. The Earth is the epitome of soft skills in action. How so, you ask?

Communication. Resilience. Grit. Adaptability. Creativity. Teamwork. Mother Earth has been *nailing* most of the Top 10 soft skills for billions of years – she’s got this! Talk about creativity: there are nearly 400,000 species of flowers and over 5.5 million species of insects. Adaptability? Well, we’re not going to get into the evidence-based theories behind evolution and adaptation here, so we’ll skip over this for now. Resilience and grit – geez Louise – the crap that we as humans have thrown at Mother Nature are seemingly enough to have blown up the planet by now but nope, still going. Struggling for sure in the wake of a climate crisis, but persevering all the same, and clearly communicating that She needs our help. That whole “teamwork” thing seems to be unilateral – we’re not doing our share.

What behaviors are YOU choosing to change to celebrate Earth Day? 

This brings up the other half of the Top 10 soft skills; here, Earth Day and the similarities to the Earth are a bit more of a stretch. Problem-solving? Not so much. This is the currently the #1 soft skill desired by employers. It’s the hardest to teach and the toughest to learn. Empathy – definitely lacking on our side. We could all do better thinking about what the other half of the conversation equation is experiencing, be it a parent, friend, spouse, or the Earth herself. What would they want us to do or say differently? Empathy, combined with compassion (which is understanding what the other party feels so deeply that we are compelled to act), can take us as a society – and our beloved Earth – far into the future.

For now, that’s about enough of soft skills. Today is Earth Day 2021 and it is the day that we all need to do something a little “extra” to bring our own awareness to a new level. If you’ve read this far into the blog, you’re probably already one of the “converted” and have your reusable canvas bags for grocery shopping. Maybe you’re even composting, too (FYI, my first job out of university was teaching people how to compost and recycle for the City Government Agency that hired me – back in the day – as in way back – recycling was a new concept and people had been composting for ages, but not in a formalized manner).

What new behaviors do you plan to maintain after Earth Day?

Get out there, enjoy all that Nature has to offer. Embrace the pollen, allergenic though it may be as the pollen signifies new growth and comes along for the ride with the showy display of all the gorgeous tree blossoms and flowers now in bloom. Forest bathing has wonderful properties that can shift you from a dark mindset to a brighter one. And, please, whatever you do, be kind to people and pets. 

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