I recently read Jared Diamond’s book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and towards the end he talks about the differences between mining and harvesting.
Those things that are mined are taken quickly. Gold and other metals are not quickly and easily replaced. One cannot take metals from the Earth in a sustainable way. They are not replenished. These metals can be taken with regard to the environment around them but that won’t keep them from just being extracted from the Earth. Because of this, most mines are set up for extraction to be done as quickly as possible for maximum profit.
Harvesting, on the other hand, can be done sustainably. Farmers can gauge their land and only have as many animals as the grass and top soil can afford, so that they can keep those levels fairly constant over generations. The land continues to provide because it is not over used.
Our agricultural practices are not always about harvesting. We destroy land and plants that should be sustainable.
Our bodies are meant to be harvested. Our energy should always be able to be rebuilt by the air we breathe, the foods we eat and the water we drink. We need to rest, just as land should be held fallow for a time. How many of us allow our bodies to rest? How many of us do just enough? Many people tend to over plant with too many commitments and allow no time for their body to rest and be fallow. Because of that, we are often mining our bodies rather than harvesting from them.
Moving through our days, let’s consider harvesting our bodies sustainably rather than mining them for resources that can’t be easily replaced.