Rediscovering Our Roots: Humanity’s Relationship with Nature

by | Feb 23, 2024 | nature | 0 comments

Photo by Satyanarayan Senapati

Sarah Gourd is an author of books promoting kindness to animals, which is the first step to rediscovering our roots as part of the larger frame of the natural world.

While there is this idea that humans are separate from nature, the reality is far from the case. Our physical bodies themselves are a clear anchor to our intertwined relationship with the natural world.

If we place ourselves beneath the microscope, we soon discover that we are composed of pretty much the same things. We are made of the same elements that make up the world around us, from the stars to the soil. We, all of us, are made up of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and a myriad of other substances.

Despite our technological prowess, we still depend on the natural world to survive. We breathe air produced by plants. We drink water filtered by natural processes. And we rely on a complex web of organisms for the food that nourishes us. Every cell within us carries the echo of ancient life forms, a reminder of our shared journey through evolutionary time.

Such is why rediscovering our roots is paramount for a better future for all of us.

Humanity’s Relationship with Nature

Beyond the physical, our connection to nature permeates our mental and emotional well-being. When we spend time in green spaces and with animals, we reduce stress, improve mood. These moments boost our cognitive function, and even enhance our creativity. The calming rhythm of waves. The scent of pine needles. The awe-inspiring vastness of a mountain range. These experiences trigger a deep sense of peace and belonging, reminding us of our place within a larger whole.

Beyond the mental health benefits, nature has been a wellspring of inspiration ever since man first learned how to harness his imagination. Look at the countless works of art that have been made, from cave paintings to murals, cathedrals to houses, from the rhythm of music to the rhythm of poetry. There is so much inspiration that the human mind has taken from nature, whether deliberately or subconsciously. Everywhere in nature, across its almost infinite bounty, there is stark simplicity and awesome intricacy. Pursuing these natural forms, humans have always sought to transform and realize their perspectives of the beauty and wonder of the natural world. 

Our interactions with and observations of nature have profoundly shaped science, art, philosophy.

While the connection between humans and nature is undeniable, it is not always harmonious. Our ever-growing population and resource demands place a significant strain on ecosystems, leading to biodiversity loss, climate change, and environmental degradation. This disruption to the natural world not only threatens the well-being of countless species but also poses a direct threat to our own survival.

Rediscovering Our Roots 

Recognizing the depth of our connection to nature is crucial for forging a more sustainable future. Through rediscovering our roots in the natural world, we foster inside ourselves a sense of wonder and appreciation for it. Through this, we are more able to encourage responsible actions that protect ecosystems and promote environmental stewardship. This can take many forms: spending time outdoors, supporting conservation efforts, making conscious choices about our consumption, and advocating for policies that protect the environment.

The ways in which rediscovering our roots can help may vary depending on our individual experiences, cultures, and access to natural spaces. Yet, the underlying human need for connection remains constant. Whether it be through gardening on an urban balcony, exploring a national park, or simply observing the stars on a clear night, every interaction with nature is an opportunity to reconnect with our roots and reaffirm our place within the larger web of life.

Sarah Gourd is the author of books promoting kindness to animals like Bing. Her works are available in all major online bookstores.


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