Education

Week 41: Connect with Nature

We humans sometimes have a habit of forgetting that we are connected to that natural world. We think that we have power over our environment that we can wield without any consequences. We forget that our existence was forged over billions of years, in alignment with evolutionary changes that responded to the environment. For better or worse, we live on this planet in accordance with a very specific set of rules that make us our ecosystem. When we make changes to that ecosystem (ie. climate change, mass extinction), we put ourselves in jeopardy.

This didn’t hit home for me until a few years back when I was watching a nature documentary that spoke to the evolution of life on the planet. What a mind blowing experience to understand that humans don’t have control over the world – we exist as part of it! Along with all the other plants, animals, rocks, lakes, etc. For someone who considered herself an environmentalist with a deep appreciation for nature, it was strange to realize that I had forgotten that I was also nature, not separate from it.

“We need a powerful new story that we are a part of nature and not separate from it. We need a story that properly situates humans in the world — neither above it by virtue of our superior intellect, nor dwarfed by the universe into cosmic insignificance. We are equal partners with all that exists, co-creators with trees and galaxies and the microorganisms in our own gut, in a materially and spiritually evolving universe.”

– Richard Schiffman

So this week I ask that you take some time to consider nature. Go for a walk; spend some time outside. Take the time to appreciate what an amazing world this is with complexities that go beyond comprehension. Sit out at night under the stars; stare into a forest; watch birds, bugs, or other animals. Remember that we all are in this together and, as humans, we need to remember that our ecosystem is connected.

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