The modern way of life, for a huge part of the population, has been grounded on the disconnection from nature. We can see that in many ways, and the most obvious one is the number of environmental problems we face today. Deforestation, fires, pollution, temperature increase, biodiversity loss, land degradation, ocean pollution, greenhouse effect, etc are just consequences of our personal disconnection with nature.
Most of the world we live in today was forest before human intervention, which nature has thrived for thousands or millions of years. And then we built our cities on those forests, forgetting that we belong to nature as well as all other species on the planet. Our habitat stopped being the natural habitat. We no longer see nature as part of our identity, we think nature is just an agglomerate of trees full of wild animals. This is certainly the physical part of nature, but it is not the entirety of it. Nature is what keeps this planet alive, so we can call it life as well. Nature is life, and we are part of nature, so we are part of life. But the problem is that we forget about this.
The modern way of living is based on convenience and practicality. These two principles play a major role in our way of seeing things since we are used to having basically everything we want almost immediately. We base our lives around what is more comfortable for us, and usually don’t take environmental problems into account. Take plastic as an example. It’s such an easy and cheap material to create and makes our daily lives so much easier. Single-use plastic, such as disposable bottles, is a way of using one thing just one time and then discarding it. So easy, so practical, so convenient for us. And we say that our schedules are busy as a reason to use this stuff, but is actually just an excuse for our incapability to recognize the impact we have on the environment around us.
This process of losing a connection with nature heavily began around 150 years ago with the Industrial Revolution, which has brought major technological advances. At that time, we were intrigued by the mysteries of technology and where we could go with the creation of machines. Obviously money plays a huge role here as well, but I won’t touch on this topic. In the industrial world, we learn how to convert resources into products. As an example, we can cite this process: we would drip the sap out of a rubber tree, convert it into raw rubber and make a tire out of it. But these products can never become a natural resource again. We separate the elements from nature and convert them into an irreversible state. That's industrial production. Nature, on the other hand, verts in a totally opposite way. The natural system produces by bringing elements together, atom by atom. All the natural products become a natural resource again. In this way, nature is able to regenerate itself as many times as it wants to. It is a state of harmony among all of the parts, such as animals, plants, microorganisms, water, earth, and air.
But, there's hope. If we can find our ways back to nature, we will be able to reconnect with it and, hopefully, start to live in harmony with it. I don’t know exactly how to do that, but I have an idea that can help. So, I think we should pay more attention to traditional cultures, which have been on Earth for thousands of years. For example, Indigenous cultures. They have been here for the longest time and know how to coexist in balance with nature. I also think we should rely less on science and more on our own life experiences to reconnect with nature. It's not that science is bad, on the contrary, it is extremely important in order to deal with environmental problems and has already had numerous positive impacts in this area. It’s just that science treats things in a stricter way, that doesn't resonate quite well with our inner relationship with the natural world. I think we should rely on our own experiences and reflect on how nature has impacted our lives and based on that, try to create a better way of living. For example, you can spend more time in parks just appreciating the moment there and remember some good old moments from childhood (yeah, that’s one of the things I do). Whatever you choose to do, it’s my hope and blessing that you find your own and peaceful way to reconnect with nature.