We are stealing nature from our children

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We are stealing nature from our children. Now, when I say this, I don’t mean that we are destroying nature that they will have wanted us to preserve, although that is unfortunately also the case. What I mean here is that we’ve started to define nature in a way that’s so purist and so strict that under the definition we’re creating for ourselves, there won’t be any nature left for our children when they’re adults. But there’s a fix for this. So let me explain.

Right now, humans use half of the world to live, to grow their crops and their timber, to pasture their animals. If you added up all the human beings, we would weigh way much as all the wild mammals put together. We cut roads through the forest. We have added little plastic particles to the sand on ocean beaches. We’ve changed the chemistry of the soil with our artificial fertilizers. And of course, we’ve changed the chemistry of the air. So when you take your next breath, you’ll be breathing in 42% more carbon dioxide than if you were breathing in the 1816. So all of these changes, and many others, clearly show the magnitude of human influence on our planet.

So where does this put nature? What counts as nature in a world where everything is influenced by humans?

To my opinion, nature is not that which is untouched by humanity, man or woman. I think that nature is anywhere where life thrives, anywhere where there are multiple species together, anywhere that’s green and blue and thriving and filled with life and growing. And under that definition, things look a little bit different.

Let me walk you through it. There are certain parts of this nature that speak to us in a special way. Places like Yellowstone, or the Mongolian steppe, or the Great Barrier Reef or the Serengeti. Places that we think of as kind of Edenic representations of a nature before we screwed everything up. And in a way, they are less impacted by our day to day activities. Many of these places have no roads or few roads, so on, like such. But ultimately, even these Edens are deeply influenced by humans. Humans have just been involved in nature in a very influential way for a very long time. Since the creation of the world through all the changes that took place with this planet. National Geographic, Discovery Channel and other like TV shows reveal to us that even the remotest places we could ever think of – the Amazon, for one, is vastly inhabited by humans. Same is true with the other tropical rainforests. Humans have influenced ecosystems in the past, and they continue to influence them in the present, even in places where they’re harder to notice.

So, if all of the definitions of nature that we might want to use that involve it being untouched by humanity or not having people in it, if all of those actually give us a result where we don’t have any nature, then maybe they’re the wrong definitions. Maybe we should define it by the presence of multiple species, by the presence of a thriving life.

Now, if we do it that way, what do we get? Well, it’s this kind of amazing, in a way. All of a sudden, there’s nature all around us. All of a sudden, we begin to notice the tiny caterpillar munching on a leaf of a plant right under our porch.

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Or we begin to notice and see an empty lot with, probably, a dozen, minimum, plant species growing there, supporting all kinds of insect life, and it is a completely unmanaged space, a completely wild space.

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This is a kind of wild nature right under our nose, that we don’t give much care and attention, less even notice.

And there’s an interesting little paradox, too. So this nature, this kind of wild, untended part of our urban, peri-urban, suburban agricultural existence that flies under the radar, it’s arguably more wild than a national park, because national parks are very carefully managed in the 21st century. National parks are heavily managed. The wildlife is kept to a certain population size and structure. Fires are suppressed. Fires are started. Non-native species are removed. Native species are reintroduced so on and so forth. It takes a lot of work to make these places look untouched.

And in a further irony, these places that we love the most are the places that we love a little too hard, sometimes. A lot of us like to go there, and because we’re managing them to be stable in the face of a changing planet, they often are becoming more fragile over time.

Which means that they’re the absolute worst places to take your children on vacation, because you can’t do anything there. You can’t climb the trees. You can’t fish the fish. You can’t make a campfire out in the middle of nowhere. You can’t take home the pinecones. There are so many rules and restrictions that from a child’s point of view, this is, like, the worst nature ever. Because children don’t want to hike through a beautiful landscape for five hours and then look at a beautiful view. That’s maybe what we want to do as adults, but what kids want to do is hunker down in one spot and just tinker with it, just work with it, just pick it up, build a house, build a fort, do something like that.

In a world where everything is changing, we need to be very careful about how we define nature.

In order not to steal it from our children, we have to do two things. First, we cannot define nature as that which is untouched. This never made any sense anyway. Nature has not been untouched for thousands of years. And the second thing is that we have to let children touch nature, because that which is untouched is unloved.

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We face some pretty grim environmental challenges on this planet. Climate change is among them. There’s others too. But in order to solve them, we need people — smart, dedicated people — who care about nature. And the only way we’re going to raise up a generation of people who care about nature is by letting them touch nature.

 

(c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com

Lead your Passion

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“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it” – Kurt Vonnegut

Since starting this blog I did have more time to think about many things in my life. By that I mean making time to self-evaluate. What are those that I am experiencing at the moment or have had previously or those past experiences (regardless of magnitude) that had made me happy? I found out a lot! I also realized that I haven’t been in touched with myself for a long time now. Over the past years I’ve been a slave to my work and the so called social responsibilities which are activities inclined “outwardly” that they eventually sucked all my strength. No time to recharge – back out from everything, go someplace else or do things that could benefit me “inwardly”. It seemed that I have become somewhat a mechanical being (some kind of a robot) just habitually doing things on a daily basis. I have lost the desire to find meaning into what I do. I became one of the too many people nowadays who just continue to survive and had forgotten how to really live – and feel alive.

For this blog, I would like to share one of my fascinations which [I believe] I have not given time to think about for so long a time now. Which, in fact, led me to write about the experiences I shared on my previous blog (click here) and HOPEFULLY on the coming ones.

FACT: I am always fascinated by stories or tell-tales from various people of their adventure journeys into different places. Places where they longed to go to and where they knew that the fulfillment of their deepest yearnings will be satisfied once they’ve been there and enjoyed [or survived] each and every bumps and turns they have had along the way.

Some of the people I know (most of them my friends while others are close acquaintances) are born adventurous (in the real sense of the word). Apparently most of them are also nature-lovers, some vacation-lovers and travelers. They go places and do things that did not only bring smiles of joy to their faces but are also enriching to their inmost beings. Doing such activities radiates and emanates from them that ethereal feeling of deep satisfaction which eventually was also felt by the people around them, myself being one.

I guess it makes real sense, though, that they’re nature/places/travel-lovers to begin with. It explains a lot about their take on every journey – the elation they experienced on each of their “adventures” because they not only intend it to be so but they’re TRULY into it. Besides that, I saw something else which fittingly describes the “well from which such joy and satisfaction springs” so to speak – it’s PASSION.

Yes, I believe so, it’s passion. However, it is the one thing that I UNCONSCIOUSLY DISREGARD and PUT OUT instantly from my mind once felt. And it is for many reasons that I often neglect its bidding. First, is that I do not have the TIME to indulge with it. Second, I particularly do not know the “HOW” to it. Third, I really do not know the means to “SUSTAIN” it, somehow in a manner with consistency.

And the much bigger question is that: If I can muster the courage to pursue it, will I have enough strength of will to enrich it, or better, make it bloom into something worthwhile and beautiful?

Let me be clear that the “WHAT” has always been obviously apparent to me ever since. I know for certain what my passion is. The thing that is predominantly and persistently pushing its way out from deep inside, screaming to be heard and yearning to be satisfied by me. Not so like my friends, writing has always been my passion (going out on adventure or nature trips just second). Since I’ve learned how to read and got fascinated by books early on in life, I had this dream of writing my own book and somehow have it published in my name. However, I have to admit that I have no formal training on writing, even a simple article in that regard is hard for me to produce, let alone to begin with. Intrigued by the word passion, I tried looking for it in several dictionaries and was intrigue all the more to find out later on that nearly all of them connotes romance!  If that so, then passion must be pursued above all things and for all its worth! Right? Hahaha.

Anyways, after thorough research, I found one which gives: “Passion is when you put more energy into something than is required to do it. It is more than just enthusiasm or excitement, passion is ambition that is materialized into action to put as much heart, mind, body and soul into something as is possible.” – Urban Dictionary

There it is! It fits my circumstance perfectly well! Metaphorically speaking, if you will – [me] having no experience and background at all about writing other than what was needed to pass through a school education, [pursuing my passion in writing] would only venture me into something that I know would eventually sap all my strength (mentally, physically, probably emotionally too, and God knows what else)! I would be focusing my energy a million times over compared to that of a seasoned and experienced writer. Be that as it may, I am excited to pursue my passion unto wherever it takes me so long as I can find happiness thru it. And I consider blogging as a perfect platform for it. Wish me luck 😉

I’m not expecting much from myself. I don’t know as well how long it will take for me to fulfill my dreams and satisfy my passion. But I’m glad that I know now where to start and what “to have” [passion] to make my life’s journeys memorable and worthwhile.

I will not overthink and overdo things. I’ll just have to enjoy every process that comes along with my journey! One step at a time.

What do you think?

She’s Wild! An ecstatic & sensually pleasurable alone time.

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“Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep out alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no when you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. Believe in kissing.”   Eve Ensler

Nothing compares to sipping a cup of steaming coffee while comfortably seated on a tumbled-down remains of a once perennial tree peacefully lying near the edge of a pristine and majestically serene and sparking lake with hundreds of thousands of lights bursting through the canopy of leaves merrily dancing on its surface. As you gaze at the emerging radiance of the sun bursting far in the horizon trying to break through between the walls of mountain ranges surrounding the lake in a motherly-like embrace. And in the calm and clearness of the waters you could see tiny fishes swim and the occasional ripples breaking the surface when bigger ones picked at something ingestible floating in on it. Truly, a sight that could easily draw out sighs of awe and wonder and joy just sitting there and being at the moment and feeling it.  The feeling of being far out from the hassle and bustle of a city life where only the soft gushing of wind rattling the lush dew-filled leaves of nearby trees then gently caressing your face, the melodic chirping of birds in symphonic harmony with the buzzing of insects and the soft sound of crystal-clear waters lapping the edge of the lake is the only available means of entertainment to savor – it’s heavenly! Where the wind carries the intoxicating aroma of grass, earth and wild aromatic herbs blended with the musky scent of the lake’s fluvial water gently caressing your face, slowly awakening your senses as you sip on your coffee while you gaze at the sun slowly peeking in the near horizon.

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Sitting beside the lake

What a great way to start a day as you look forward to an exciting array of adventures and activities you could freely arrange (without pressure)  while you’re in the wilderness. Yes. Wilderness and nature have an amazingly blissful impact on me. You could swim for a couple of hours or so under the heat of the sun. And maybe, if you will, also want to try and catch fish for lunch and perhaps a salad of fresh herbs and berries you could grab while trekking. Dinner will be by the bonfire. And you could just spread a mat afterwards and lie down to watch the stars in the heavens and feel the soft feel of tender grass against your back. When you’re mindful enough to bring in the wine it will double the fun! If I could only take more time out of my busy life and spend it somewhere – this definitely would be it! And I would gladly want to do it again and again as much as I wanted it more.

In fact, every one of us sometimes needs time to be alone. To take a break from something if not everything. Even babies need time on their own, too, so they can gradually start to understand that they’re independent from their parents.

However, one important point that needs to be considered is that there is a difference between being comfortably alone and being lonely.  Solitude, for one, is an example of being comfortably alone for it allows time to reflect, to center ourselves and to recharge.

Living alone, though it may not be the state you ultimately desire for yourself, affords an unparalleled opportunity to know yourself, to be yourself, and to develop yourself as a unique and interesting individual. – Phyllis Hobe

Like I always desire of doing – grab every opportunity to have an alone-time which only seldom comes in this ultra-fast paced modern world in which we live in. We all need time to detach ourselves from the complex conundrum brought about by the varied and sometimes “self-branded” all too important areas and events of our personal lives. Within which, every tick of a second counts, and that a slight mismanagement or neglect of that all too precious time could quickly send our tightly-balanced lives spiraling dangerously out of control in just a blink of an eye.

Nonetheless, you can also chose to take a risk, take small compromises and make it your intention to be alone. Have a quality time with yourself. Go to places you’ve never been. Do the things you like to do back in your childhood days. Commune with nature and while you’re at it, run or trek, do the cartwheel, shout at the top of your voice, howl to the moon, chase butterflies, skinny dip in the waters, sleep under the canopy of trees, watch the stars, sing along with the sounds of nature, anything and anyway you’d like to do. Be the person you want to be. Follow your gut. Fall in love (and risk be hurt) or love as you’ve never loved before. Forgive yourself and your past. Re-live and revive your faith. Move out of your established comfort zones. For all its worth, we won’t know what life would unfold unless we courageously take the first step towards a much fulfilling life that we could have and a much happier person we could become.

Let us – Live life.

 (c) 2016 viewpointsofandrei.com