Despite the technological advances and scientific inventions that make us believe we have nothing in common with the rest of the animal kingdom, we are still part of the planet’s fauna, whether we realize it or not. Needless to say, back when humanity’s main achievements were the invention of a round wheel, or specific tools for farming agriculture, human beings were dependent on nature and paid attention to the changes of its course (George 24). Now, with technological revolutions and discoveries that made up our past history, we seem to pay little attention to nature, getting more and more disconnected from it every day. However, the links we have with nature cannot disappear. There are a number of key reasons in favor of the concept that people should try to connect with nature more than they do today.
Nature has historically been the home for human beings, just like it remains a home for animals and plants (with the exception of those that are kept in zoos and greenhouses). Nature is able to show us true beauty without modifications, exaggerations, and falseness. After all, is it not ironic how people go to galleries and exhibitions to look at paintings of colorful flowers, mighty woods, green hills, and fast clear streams; those simple beauties can easily be observed in real life outside of the urban environment which looms around them. Or the fact people purchase recordings of calming sounds of nature, like what you would hear at night in the woods—a damped quavering of an owl, a ringing flare of crickets, and the sonorous rustle of bushes. What we are in fact doing is trying to deceive our minds and make ourselves believe we are in the woods, next to those owls, crickets, and bushes, while we are instead trapped inside our tiny, well-furnished, and packed-with-technology apartment.
In the era of absolute informational chaos and noise, it becomes more important than ever to be able to pause from the crazy pace of life and relax. Finding silence and peace in the global vacuum of competitiveness, haste, and strain is challenging. We go to doctors for depression, insomnia, and anxiety. We ask for prescriptions and pills, while what we should be doing instead is turning to nature for help. What can be more relaxing and stress-free than a cup of warm herbal tea with fresh honey on the porch of a cozy wooden country house with a view of a small natural lake, or green forest, or beautiful mountains? It is the cheapest, simplest, and most accessible treatment one can think of. We laugh at those “freaks” hugging trees in the park, or walking barefoot on grass. However, these people remember what is essential—what most others have forgotten somewhere along the race to progress and prosperity: the key to being healthy, emotionally sustained and resistant to everyday stress is staying connected to nature and allowing ourselves to put all business on hold and take a break (Swang 54).
Nature is about balance and harmony—what we lack when we live inside the swirling pit of urbanized cities. Sometimes we escape, but so rarely and so abruptly, that such escapades can hardly help us reestablish our link with nature. Individuals who live in city areas should consider changing their routine and getting out into nature more regularly. When was the last time you took a walk to a nearby pond, or spent a weekend outdoors doing active sports? When was the last time you went hiking, or fishing, or took your family or friends for a picnic in the nearby park? We should try to move our weekly entertainment, as well as our holiday celebrations, parties, and friendly gatherings, from homes, pubs, and restaurants to lake shores, mountains, parks, forests, ponds, rivers, and groves. The beautiful landscapes of America are incredibly rich and diverse, and this is our true natural wealth we unfortunately often forget about.
George, Melanie. The Interdependence of Nature and Humans. New York: Scorn Publishing, 2008. Print.
Swang, Michael. Time-Outs for Adults. Portland: Daisy Press, 2010. Print.
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