Our troubled relationship with the natural world is one of the most dominant topics discussed today in society. We see it everywhere from social media, to mainstream news.
While some of the most optimistic reputed voices in nature conservation and science are saying that we are in the 11th hour and only have a few decades to act, the most gloomy ones decree that the 12th hour has already passed, and that we have already condemned ourselves along with the entire natural world to irreversible annihilation.
This being said, I consider it fair to point out that although we’ve never lived through times where humankind afflicts so much destruction and pain to the natural world, equally the natural world has never experienced so much care and help from us. Here are few examples:
- There has never been a time when so much concerted effort is being put into restoring various natural habitats from all around the world
- There have never been so many protected natural environments on the planet
- We are seeing species that were once extinct in certain areas, returning to their native habitats
- Humans have never been so aware and concerned with the importance of maintaining a healthy natural environment
Regardless of how you look at it, human kind’s future is undoubtedly dependent on how we work with nature from here on. But before we figure out how to go forward, I believe there is something much more fundamental, that is crucial to establish first. And that is, defining what our position in relation to nature, is.
The story we tell ourselves
We are storytelling creatures. And the reality we live is a reflection of the story we tell ourselves about ourselves. Throughout our recorded history we have seen humanity as separate from nature. Our whole society and the institutions that govern it, are based on this story.
Religion for example, has set us aside as the jewel of creation, and has somehow given us the idea of being above and beyond everything else. We have gradually departed from the original role of caretakers, which most indigenous spiritual traditions still maintain, to that of controlling masters, who have to subdue nature and make it work for themselves.
Whilst being lost in our pride for how our technologies are managing to control what is wild and free, we have forgotten the truth about our essential nature.
Everything we are working on now in regards to repairing our relationship with nature, seems to come from the standpoint of us and it. On one side there is us humans, together with all that we create – and nature, with all that it encompasses. But are we not nature’s creation as well? We are not artificial machines. We are the direct result of natural biological processes. We have forgotten that we are as much part of the natural world as any other living thing.
Therefore before we take our next steps in healing our planet, I believe we need to address the foundation of this endeavor, which is our story. We need to remember where we came from, and what we are and always will be an integral part of. We need to remember that essentially, we are nature.
I would like to leave you with this brilliant commercial done for WWF (World Wildlife Fund) Germany. The original is in German, yet here you can hear the English version. We are nature. Enjoy.
P.S. If you’ve enjoyed this article, and would like to keep in touch, you can subscribe below to my weekly newsletter where I share with you one article every Thursday 🙂