Planting Your Future
The blade of grass is fundamental to everything around us.
All symbols carry meanings. And this includes that of Amida. We have been asked often, “What is the meaning of your symbol?”
Our symbol is a simple blade of grass. Seemingly minimal, this single blade has a force behind it to provide nourishment for cattle, materials for ants, and protection for the environment. The blade of grass is fundamental to everything around us and integrated into all facets of life, such as is the same with wealth and mindful living.
Our dedication to environmental representation goes beyond Amida’s symbol. This past Earth Day, members of our Amida Team and Family gathered in Miami to plant over 60 trees at a nearby public school. The school is growing hydroponic systems as a part of their environmental magnet program, growing natural berries on the school grounds and learning the difference between GMO and organic foods. While a fun, if not physically challenging, activity, this initiative is tied to how Amida views environmental health and an involved, clean, green state of being. Let’s explore more of how trees affect us daily, and why it is crucial to invest our time and energy in similar community efforts.
Psychology of being around Trees
Walking in nature is sought out as a lovely, relaxing activity. Often, we do not consider how it affects us physically or mentally, purely that we enjoy the surroundings – the soft brushes of plants, the warm sun, the animals dipping in and out of our paths.
However, there is a truly fascinating involvement between science and this sensation. Nature has an effect on us via our autonomic nervous system, specifically the parasympathetic sector. Operating unconsciously, this sector works within the body’s “rest-and-digest” mode influencing the immune system, blood pressure, depth of sleep, and ability to focus. Even the simple act of seeing trees makes our bodies relax and instills a sense of calm in our minds and hearts. It is likely you know this from experience but being aware of how your entire being responds to such beauty and light can contribute to overall mindfulness and well-being.
We now have scientific studies to back the deep contentment we feel while in the middle of nowhere, this has been noticed by humanity for generations. Reverence for trees has shaped understanding of birth, death, and sacredness. The act of planting trees was an investment in the life and well-being of the community, an offering for protection against physical elements and more spiritual harm. The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries named contact with forests as shinrin-yoku (also known as “forest bathing”) in 1982 and has been culturally renowned as a way to combat fatigue and depression.
Nature visually is picturesque; the sensation of walking barefoot on soft grass, or the tranquility of admiring an oceanic view beneath the shade of a palm tree are universally desirable, but in actuality nature has been broken and distributed as a resource amongst most Westernized populations. This is commonly viewed as an environmental justice concern as equity assessments indicate the wealthier populations often have healthier, greener surroundings.
UTC is a common term when it comes to trees and city spaces; Urban Tree Canopy is considered an “environmental amenity [stemming] from the direct flow of perceived benefits, or ecosystem services, to people and neighborhoods where UTC cover is found” (x). There have been many studies conducted on wealthy areas and subsequent ecosystems and it is clear that there is a correlation between high UTC cover and health of population. While there are additional costs due to higher UTC covers, such as water supply, maintenance, and allergies, the benefits of community gathering, noise reduction, and psychological well-being are inarguably more important.
Therefore, it is clear: investing in raising the UTC in city spaces can work to beautify the aesthetics and authentically impact the psychological and physical health of the surrounding community. We do not live isolated from nature, we exist within. This is why initiatives such as Amida Wealth’s Tree Planting Event not only work actively to promote positive growth, it is an opportunity for the community to get involved and invest in their environment.
Environmental justice sounds like a massive undertaking but in reality, we can all take simple steps every day or join community efforts that propel us towards an eco-friendly society. Massive undertakings are appreciated but not required; it’s a simple shift of perspective to acknowledge opportunities for change and create positive growth. As to overwhelming headlines, just create a new perspective and balance knowledge with action. We can’t change the world but we can change how we look at it and the role we play in it. For today, go for a walk outside. Notice nature and feel it noticing you back, from the smallest blade of grass to the tallest of trees.
From a blade of grass to rows of newly planted trees, Amida’s mission of transforming your vision of wealth is similarly focused on the present and tomorrow’s greener future. Want to get involved in the next Amida event? Get in touch today.