By Fred First
Imagine three circles that take in all of our life’s important domains: the circle of human physical and spiritual well-being; the circle of global health and sustainability; and the circle of mankind’s economic engines that turn nature into commerce and profit. They are inextricably interconnected, and yet in today’s world, they are treated as discrete and independent entities that barely touch and overlap hardly at all.
We live in a world out of balance. In this compartmentalized view we fail to acknowledge the wholeness of the grand ecology of life. By reducing the complex whole to nothing but a soulless pile of parts is to fail the future and leave a legacy of illness and disorder for our children.
In Search of Balance takes the viewer into the lives and life settings of individuals who have succeeded in the quest for balance, yielding health where Big Pharma has failed; celebrating healthy and productive soil where Big Ag has despoiled it; and offering eco-empathy and life balance where “business as usual” apart from the solace and real health benefits of contact with nature leaves communities disconnected and depressed.
The reach of the movie is wide and its resources current and science-based, without being academic. The interested viewer will be eager at its conclusion to explore the role of the human microbiome to our health and behavior; to dig deeper into the richness of the term agroecology as perhaps the central unifying overlap between those three circles we spoke of; and to explore and seek remedies for the broken relationship that Richard Louv refers to as “nature deficit disorder.”
Shown as a community event and basis for discussion, this movie can serve as a catalyst and guide to change. What are the out-of-balance aspects of the local environment within the potential influence of the gathered citizenry? Those disordered organs within the community might be broken relationships as seemingly trivial as backroad litter or as consequential as forest clearcutting or school-age obesity.
Empowered by the encouraging testimonials and caveats of this film, we are encouraged to ask in what ways we might build bridges that span the chasm between the out-of-balance way things are today to reach a “one health” inclusive ecology that pulls the circles of our lives back together for good.