As I struggle to absorb and understand all the anger, hatred, and violence humanity has been experiencing, I couldn’t help but think of the expression “May you live in interesting times.”
Its meaning, “May you experience much disorder and trouble in your life”, accurately describes the times we currently live in. On the surface, the saying appears to be a blessing. It is, in fact, a curse. The expression is always used ironically, implying that ‘uninteresting times’, of peace and tranquillity, are far more life-enhancing than interesting ones. Boy does it feel like we are miles away from living in uninteresting times on Planet Earth now.
As someone who stands for peace and inclusion and sees the world through rose-colored glasses, I keep wondering why things appear to have gone so wrong. When did we stop seeing the beauty in our differences, instead allowing those differences to be an ignitor of disharmony and disconnection?
When I expressed this as a somewhat rhetorical question to a few people, the response was generally very similar. Most actually replied by asking me when we humans ever did see our differences as beautiful. Hmm. That got me thinking.
Humanity in the Natural World
Then on an afternoon break from visiting my mother in the hospital, (she was recovering from emergency surgery for a perforated duodenal ulcer), I drove up to the local pond to take a few minutes to breathe in some fresh air and be in nature.
Immediately, I noticed the diversity of plants and flowers that live in harmony around the pond, remembering a beautiful quote by Zen Shin, “A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.” Nature possesses infinite wisdom and seems to always get it right. A profound lesson we humans would be wise to learn from the natural world around us.
My eyes were drawn to the periphery of the pond where a large group of birds was hanging out enjoying the afternoon breeze. In the mix were swans, ducks and Canada geese, all coexisting quite contently, sharing the large pond to swim and bathe in.
Beauty in the Differences
Although each of them was a different colour, shape, and size, they had found a way to live together harmoniously. Maybe they just don’t see their differences. If the duck got too close to the swan, the swan just looked up and the duck backed off, giving the swan some space to preen and primp itself.
When things got congested as the baby ducks waddled close to the larger birds, they seemed to take it in stride, cleared some space or went in the pond to cool off. What a simple idea. When things get tense or tempers flare, maybe a good dunk in the water would cool us humans off too.
It made me wonder how the natural world understands this law of living in community as if it’s second nature. Something we humans don’t seem to know. Still, we see ourselves as the smarter and wiser species. Even where there are great differences and diversity in the natural world, this beauty of community exists. Have human beings forgotten this valuable lesson nature offers us? Or, did we ever know it?
The Natural World Lives in Cooperation and Collaboration
We’ve also lost sight of the lessons of cooperation and collaboration that drive the natural world. In an interview, author-speaker Gregg Braden discussed 400 peer-reviewed scientific studies that looked at Darwin’s idea of ‘survival of the fittest’. The intention was to discover what the optimum amount of competition was for any environment – whether a classroom, playing field or family. The conclusion was zero.
“They discovered competition always hurts the individual and the community, and that nature is based on mutual aid and not competition. When we say competition, we are talking about violent competition, where one person, group or community benefits at the expense of another by exploiting the weaknesses of the other,” Braden explained.
He went on to say, “Darwinian evolution doesn’t work. Although “survival of the fittest” has always been accepted as the standard for biological behavior, we are more inclined toward peace than war, more wired for cooperative existence and mutual aid than competition.” Maybe we humans missed that memo.
Knowing the Other Reawakens Our Humanity
This got me curious about my personal life experiences. Scanning my own history, I realized I had not known a black person until I was in my late 40’s when a young black man who was performing in a local theater production of “Rent” and I became friends. Knowing very little, I was highly curious about the black experience and culture.
It didn’t take too long to learn a bit about it from his perspective. He grew up in a respected middle-class D.C. family and yet had experienced enormous prejudice in his young life. On one occasion when he was late for a matinee performance of the show in Vancouver, he was running to make sure he got there on time. He was stopped by two police officers and questioned, “Why are you running so fast…boy?”
It reminded me of my former husband’s memory of being on the road with the band Lighthouse. While playing in Louisiana in the mid-70’s, he encountered a kind older black bellman at the hotel where they were staying and witnessed how the guests would refer to this elderly man as “boy”. The bellmen, with his eyes down, respectfully replied, “Yes ma’am, yes sir” in his southern drawl.
The Black-White Experience in America is not so Black or White
With no direct experience of this, I realized it’s impossible for me to understand the black experience in America and elsewhere. An insightful piece in the Washington Post reported that 75% of white people do not have any non-white friends. How can we understand others if we don’t know them?
As a big fan of Chris Rock, the article reminded me of this punchline from one of his 2009 bits on interracial friendships. “All my black friends have a bunch of white friends. And all my white friends have one black friend.” Again, can we understand others if we don’t know them?
Humanity’s Disconnection from Nature
So how can nature help us rediscover our humanity? A vital lesson we humans have failed to learn is that nothing in nature takes more than it needs. This is almost diametrically opposed to the human economic growth model that breeds rampant over-consumption which is no longer sustainable. When something in nature does take more than it needs, it becomes subject to this law and dies off. We call something that takes more than its share in the human body — cancer.
Well-known environmental activist David Suzuki concurred that the heart of our problem is the separation of humanity from the natural world and our ongoing belief that the economy is a living ‘thing.’
This theme repeated when a lecture speaker spoke of how man has become disconnected from the natural world and from ourselves. We’ve become slaves to technology and won’t leave home without it. We’re more interested in ‘capturing’ nature and sharing it online, than experiencing and living it in the moment.
We flock to the ocean or mountains on vacation. To be in nature. We’re moved by breathtaking sunsets or sunrises, in awe of nature’s wonder. City dwellers rarely get to witness these, as more than 70 percent of the population now lives in urban centers removed from contact with the natural world. Although nature has valuable lessons to teach us, we’re increasingly removed from it. It’s our responsibility to reawaken it.
Rediscovering Our Humanity Through Nature
Here are a few key points from a lovely piece on lessons we can learn from nature.
- Natural Consequences: Nature shows us that our choices in life have natural consequences.
- Intelligence: Human Beings have untapped intelligence. When we’re out in nature, investigating life from a place of curiosity, we’re led to amazing discoveries and gain practical problem-solving skills.
- Well-being: Nature deficit disorder is the term coined by Richard Louv to describe what happens when people don’t get enough nature in their life. The results are quite unsettling. Nature teaches us how to stay healthy, happy and connected.
- Perspective: The world we live in is much grander than just you and I. We each play a small part in a bigger global community of plants, animals, people, ideas, and dreams.
- Creativity: Artists, musicians, philosophers, and writers have long looked to nature for the inspiration to create their art.
- Gratitude: Learning to experience the gift of life through our senses in nature helps us to feel thankful for all the incredible beauty we have in our world, offering us the time to appreciate the grandeur of life.
- Humility: Not all questions have an answer. Even though I would like to believe they do. Each day offers us new challenges, so all we can do is let go and continue moving forward.
- Inner Peace: As challenging as it may be to accept with what we continue to witness, peace already lives inside every human being. When we’re given space to freely enjoy the natural world, letting go of what preoccupies our mind, we discover a tremendous freedom and joy for life itself. A freedom that isn’t attached to anything external.
Imagining a New Vision for Humanity
Can you imagine a world where these lessons, if learned, would change the dynamics of how we relate to each other? Do you see how these would contribute greatly to reawakening our humanity?
There would be compassion, curiosity, understanding and acceptance. A true meeting of hearts and minds. Maybe we could live in peace and harmony in spite of our differences. A world where we could see the beauty in our differences. Naive you might say.
Everything we need to create a world of peace and love already exists. Could stepping back and being open to learning the lessons nature has to teach us, be a place to start? May we rediscover our humanity by learning from the greatest teacher we have—nature.
This is a beautiful post Beverley. While I do believe that nature offers us MANY lessons, I think what I appreciate the most about it is the lesson that everything has a purpose. It taught me that God created everything for a purpose and that we should value it all, even if it does not aid our own survival.
Like you, I also look to nature for the inspiration to create my art. In fact, I’m about to head out for a hike in a few minutes. Have a lovely day!
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That’s a wonderful lesson to glean from nature, Rachel. I agree about that and that purpose also leads to the interconnectedness of all things too. We humans would be wise to acknowledge and also embrace that.
Nature has been a great inspiration through the ages for artists of all kinds and I am so happy that you also find nature enriching and inspiring for you. Hope you enjoyed your hike too!
Beverley, this is such a beautiful article with so much depth and research! Braden and Lipton are on the cutting edge of consciousness. I am maybe annoying in my tribute to nature and the Spokane River in my social media, but I LOVE it!
This was especially profound! Thank you! “They discovered competition always hurts the individual and the community, and that nature is based on mutual aid and not competition. When we say competition, we are talking about violent competition, where one person, group or community benefits at the expense of another by exploiting the weaknesses of the other,” Braden explained.
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Thank you so much Candess! I also believe that Braden and Lipton are on the cutting edge of science meets consciousness. I love that you pay homage to nature and the Spokane River. Doing that brings awareness and also shares it with others! We need all the awareness we can get when it comes to connecting to the natural world.
I have long believed that the idea of competition being the driving force behind human behaviour wasn’t the ‘truth’ and the sentence you pointed out, says it all. We are all so much better when we work in collaboration and community, supporting each other to the mutual benefit of us all! Thanks for adding to this conversation.
What a deep and thought-provoking piece, Beverley. When it’s becoming more and more apparent how humans are damaging nature, I think Mother nature and those who abide by her laws will be the one’s that survive in the end.
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Thank you for your kind words and support for this piece, Joyce. I completely agree with you. We humans are the cause of the damage and I believe it is up to us to take responsibility and work to fix it. I hope you are right about those of us who do choose to abide by the lessons and laws of Mother Nature and the survival of us all.
I notice that you wrote this last year, Beverley. Interesting times, indeed. And it’s a prescient piece. Co-existing with nature is even more important now, as is its protection. There’s so much to learn, and so much peace to be found by looking at nature’s example. If only more people saw it that way. Perhaps they thrive on the chaos they are creating.
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Thanks for your observations, Jennifer. Even though I wrote it last year, it does seem to be especially pertinent in this moment in time. Co-exisitng with nature and learning the grander lessons from it, would serve us very well, indeed. I am seeing so much research focused on plants and trees and how nature offers a bigger perspective than we humans tend to see. I continue hoping that more people are seeing how necessary it is for all of us to take a stand for the natural world and our planet’s survival.
What a huge issue. I’d be afraid to address this one – I think I’d go in circles. You did well. It seems this is all self inflicted. Instead of comparison, empathy and respect would take us all a long way.
Thanks Cathy! This is a big topic for me and there is so much to say and share about it. I agree it is all self-inflicted and I believe as we ’caused’ it, we are responsible to fix it too. Empathy, cooperation respect and collaboration would definitely bring us to a new paradigm and my hope is we are heading forward on that, not backward.
I’m SO sharing this everywhere, Beverley. This is one of my favorite articles of yours. There are so many golden nuggets here, I don’t even know where to begin. I adore Gregg Braden. I really believe this point: “we are more inclined toward peace than war, more wired for cooperative existence and mutual aid than competition.” If only all of us practiced this. If only we all felt and believed we are all interconnected. Nature is so peaceful and healing. I’m a huge believer in COLLABORATION.
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Thank you so much for your enthusiasm for this article, Tandy! I appreciate hearing how much you enjoyed it and found many golden nuggets in it. I also love Gregg Braden’s wisdom and the sentence you chose, particularly resonates with me as well. If only all of us could practice this. I can imagine it and wish it was happening on a grander scale than we are now seeing. If only people really did feel the interconnectedness between everything, perhaps we would find more cooperation, peace and love from human beings. Collaboration is what I am longing for most in my life, and see how that could change so much of what needs to be changed in our world today!
I am so blessed to read your articles and this one was another brilliant one. I resonated with the list you wrote and the gratitude and the nature deficit disorder. I Learned something new, and it is an amazing article on nature. I Truly need to be outside and I love it. Thanks for sharing this article. I love the part of peace always.
Thanks so much Lori! I am so happy that this piece on nature resonated so strongly with you and you learned something new. Like you, I also need to be outside, and love the sun and being in nature. Glad you enjoyed everything in it so much.
May you live in interesting times 🙂 I think this has been achieved. Cooperation and collaboration are beautiful to see in nature and in the “human” world.
Christy Soukhamneut recently posted…Pearly’s New Pad – Picking The Loan
Thanks Christy! Yes, living in collaboration and cooperation is beautiful to see in nature and my wish is that we now see it more from human beings as well. Yes, we certainly are living in very interesting times indeed. 🙂
Love this post! I so resonate with nature. The sounds, the smells, the warmth of the sun on my face. You had me at Nature Deficit Disorder! Love this term! Thank you for sharing your passion and insight. xo
Like you, I really love being in nature, April! How sad that so many people are completely disconnected from it and have ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ because of it! Glad you enjoyed this piece and my passion in sharing how important it is for us all to unplug and reconnect with the natural world.
I especially liked your writing about rediscovering our humanity through nature points. I find nature to be healing as an empath, thank you!
Thanks so much Lisa! Appreciate hearing that this post struck a chord with you, especially how healing nature can be for you as an empath. Nature is so wonderful…
Nature is such a wise teacher for humans! Today when I was visiting with my backyard plants, the word “equality” popped into my head. I think that’s what plants and nature do – they honor their unique gifts but respect everything around it as an equal.
Thank you so much for sharing your experience in your backyard garden, Lea. I love that you heard ‘equality and that you also see how nature has this valuable lesson to teach us humans. I do believe they honour and respect everything around themselves as well. If only we humans could see this and do this too.
Love this post! Thank you!
Beauty in the difference without competing! I’m so drawn to nature as a highly sensitive person and I’m amazed at how it is so different yet doesn’t compete with itself.
Hoping we can all be the change in this world that we long for and need!
Like you Michelle, I’m a highly sensitive person as well and really find nature offers such insights and wisdom for us humans. I see how beautifully nature exists, mostly in harmony and without competing, and also hope that we can make the changes our world so desperately needs.
This brought tears to my eyes ~ so wise, so true. It is there for the taking, and in our busy world I think everyone needs to read this. Thank you so much for the beautiful way you have brought this to our awareness.
Thank you so much for being someone who sees this and lives this in your own life, Cheryl! It really means a lot to me to know this touched you in such a deep way. Many thanks for that and for wanting others to read this piece as well.
A fascinating article that truly reflects the beauty and adventurous spirit that we all used to have, before the technological world, because we are relating to the things around us or are we searching for the world that surrounds us. We are products of our environments and we shouldn’t forget that there is a beautiful world out there to experience.
Thanks for your thoughts on this post, Lori. I agree with the fact that there is a beautiful world outside of ourselves for us to explore and to learn from. The world of technology really has shifted the way we humans are in relation to the world and to ourselves. It is a good reflection to know how things have changed and what is still important to retain. Appreciate your ideas!
I think that as we get older we start to ask the deeper questions about life and we begin to look at things from a much broader perspective. Evolution may not be what we were taught. Nature knows how to run the planet better than we do. Diversity is an experience that can enrich us all. I can imagine that the rest of your life’s journey will continue to be exciting and enlightening.
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Thanks for your wise words, Joyce. Yes, I believe that as we get older, we do look at the bigger picture and that our journey is more about helping others, than it is self-focused. Nature has always been man’s greatest teacher and yet, it seems we have all but forgotten these lessons, because of the massive disconnection so many people now have with nature. Diversity and differences are what make the life experience unique. I really appreciate you saying that you imagine the rest of my life’s journey will continue to be both exciting and enlightening!
Beautifully said, Beverley. I’m so grateful for your words and your photos. How did you make the last picture? It’s awesome.
I wish that others understood that differences are things to be celebrated, even as they are not completely understood. Of course, a little faith in humanity seems scarce these days.
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Thanks so much Liz! Glad you enjoyed my words and images. The last photo was ‘found’ and I redesigned it with the quote. I love it too, so happy it resonated with you.
I also wish that people understood that the beauty is in the differences. We are something like 97% the same and it is a very small percentage that makes us different from each other, and yet humanity seems to have focused on the small percentage without ever embodying how that makes us unique. I am the rose-colored glass optimist, so I still have some faith…I just hold the possibility that those of us who see the beauty, become the vocal majority!
I think Gregg Braden doesn’t understand Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” comment. What he said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” No competition in nature? Bushwah. Of course there is — for food, for space, for mates.
Greg Braden is a scientist and absolutely does understand Darwin’s “survival of the fittest”, Jackie. And if you notice, 400 other peer reviewed research projects showed that nature works in cooperation more than in competition, which is what we’ve modelled our human economic system after. Yes, there is competition, but not in the way we previously viewed it. And in the quote, Braden explains this more fully. Another lay of nature, is that nature never takes more than it needs. So even if a lion kills a gazelle for example, it doesn’t continue killing them if one is enough to feed itself and family. Even Darwin rebuked his theory, but by the time he did, it had already been ingrained in the human psyche. It’s a fascinating conversation and the new research is showing we would thrive if we lived more aligned with the way nature does.
What a beautifully written article on such an important topic. It would be wonderful if we could all live in peace and harmony in spite of our differences.
Thanks so much for always reading my articles, Robin! I appreciate your support and of course your comments too. I agree with you about nature…wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all live in peace and harmony and saw the beauty in our differences. What a wonderful world that would be!
Beverley this is beautiful, thought provoking, your imagery I am sharing your images.
Nature is how I start my day and I just said yesterday to Des how important it is that i ground myself each day both physically and in spirit.
Loving your writing xxoo
Thanks so much for your ongoing enthusiasm and support, Suzie! I really appreciate hearing that you love my imagery! I do spend time on that, so it means a lot!
I also know how much nature is a nurturer for you and how key it is in your daily life. So happy you resonated with this post and thank you for your love of my writing too! xo
Hi Beverley 🙂
What a wonderful, well-thought out post on how important it is to get back to being like nature…..living in contentment , not conflict…..How peaceful our lives would be 🙂 Thank you for taking the time to write this and to let others know that this is a must if we humans are to live in harmony again 🙂
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Hi Joan. Thank you so much for your kind words about this post. I really do appreciate hearing you found it well-thought out and wonderful. Yes, a return to nature is a place for us all to begin to learn or relearn lessons of connectedness and community. The possibility for peace exists and we humans by nature, are peaceful. Thank you for your support of us humans living in harmony and peace too! 🙂
Loved this article! We do have so many questions of why things are the way they are. I truly believe yes not every answer can be answered. My twin sister and I were adopted at 3 months in Winnipeg in the 60’s, by my parents who are both white, my parents ended up adopting 3 children and had 4 of their own. (We were the only brown children.) We lived in a small city after and never saw a black person except for ourselves, until we were around 8. It was very strange… We were lucky not to get touched by prejudice, because I think Canada’s prejudice was not as bad and my parents sheltered us. My model is always to treat people the way you would like to get treated, no matter what. I have come to the conclusion that people see the world through unconscious thoughts and get so locked into this ignorant thinking they don’t turn away from change and good thinking. It is nice to know that articles like yours have words that will heal and awaken.
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Thank you so much for sharing a little bit about your experiences growing up, Gilly. I didn’t know very much about your early years. It’s fascinating how when you grow up not ‘knowing’ you are different, how it doesn’t really matter. It sounds like your parents were incredibly wise and conscious and that you and your siblings had such a strong foundation based on acceptance and love. I would love to think that Canada is not as prejudice as the U.S. as well, although it is hard for this narrow minded belief system we continue to see, not to spill into our consciousness as well. I LOVE that you are such a sensitive soul who understands the importance of treating others as you would want to be treated. Yes, the unconscious beliefs that we learn when we are young, do follow us through life and because of this, often people aren’t open to change or broad-minded thinking. I really appreciate knowing that you see my words and writing as having the potential to awaken and heal others. Thank you!
An amazing post on so many levels, thank you for this beautiful and timely reminder of how connected we really all are – both to each other and to the nature that sustains us. May we learn to honor her and each other in time.
Thanks for your lovely words and for being someone who understands this connectedness we have to each other and to nature, Julia. My wish is also that we have reverence for the natural world and learn from it how to honour the beauty in each other. Thank you. xo
This echoes much of my own thoughts! I look at others as different reflections of the Divine – and blessings helping me to know myself better. Nature is such a great teacher!
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Thanks for such a lovely and wise reflection, Alexis. The differences between us, are reflections of parts of a whole. In an ideal world, it does help us to know ourselves better. Nature offers us so many lessons and is one of our divine teachers indeed.
It seems that my long comment disappeared Beverley ;( . I was sharing an incredible experience that I had recently but, no way am I going to enter it again.
Being out and about in nature allows me to reconnect with my soul. The noise and confusion of my everyday world can be left behind and I can just listen to what my soul is saying. Would that the perfect harmony found it nature spilled over onto humanity.
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I searched for your long comment, Rachel, as I would have loved to hear about your recent experience. I understand you not wanting to enter it again. I feel the same when this happens to me on someone else’s post.
I agree with you about nature reconnecting us to our foul. It would be so wonderful to know people are being in nature and experiencing this divine harmony and the lessons it offers us. All we can do is be one more voice, one more person who is holding this possibility for us all. May we see these changes happening soon.
There is so much wisdom in this article. I agree with you completely. This is how I feel about humanity. I can only hope that your loving words will teach the world that is so needful of this mindset. Thank you, Beverley.
Thanks so much for your kind words Vironika. I appreciate that you saw wisdom in this article. And, I’m happy to have you be on this side of the conversation too. I also hope that with more conversations, and more love, we can shift the energy and we will begin to see the changes we want to see in our world! Thank you.
Thank you for having the courage to write this piece, Beverley. It’s interesting that we now disrespect nature just like many of us disrespect people who seem different than us.
I’m completely aligned with your thoughts on the wonders of nature. It would be nice if this could be one part of the solution! I think speaking out as you’re doing is another important part.
Thank you so much for seeing this piece as one that required courage to write, Sandra. It felt so important to me and I am delighted that it is resonating with people who are reading it. I agree with you too. We seem to disrespect nature in exactly the same way we disrespect people who ‘appear’ different from us. I would love to believe this is not inherent in our humanity, though, and is learned.
Happy to have another nature soul aligned with these thoughts too. I do believe this is one part of a larger solution and I hope that by speaking about it and writing about it, more people will join in the conversation and change will happen.
What a beautiful message Beverley! I am forever inspired by nature and her beauty. In fact, recently someone pressed me to take a stand on religion, not a topic I normally discuss for many reasons. But when they wouldn’t let it go I simply smiled and said my Religion is Nature. The funny thing was, the more I thought about it, the righter it felt.
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I absolutely love this, Marquita! I might have to adopt this as well. Yes, nature is definitely my religion too! I find as I get older, I am increasingly inspired by the natural world around me as well. I crave getting back to Sedona, Arizona, as I love the awe-inspiring beauty of the red rocks. Hiking them, is beyond words. I know you live in Hawaii, and know from my visit there, that it is a 24/7 inspiration. Thanks so much for sharing!
Another inspiring post!! I periodically like to go to nature to recharge. I definitely agree with you that we can rediscover humanity through nature, because we see how interconnected everything is. Spending time in nature allows us to see everything is perfect just the way it is. Your post brought up so many important topics. The passage about Chris Rock and the statistic about how many white people have non-white friends is a bit shocking. I grew up in a predominately white town to a mixed race family. My father is from India and my mother is white. I really struggled to fit in when I was younger, and this gave me perspective as to how dividing race can really be. But, to be so separated makes me really sad. I do hope we can find a way to band together and all learn to love each other!!
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Thanks so much for sharing your own personal experiences as a child of a mixed race family, Anna. I cannot imagine what that is like, but from stories like yours, I feel how so often it is challenging to know where you fit in. Yes, nature has much to teach us and yet we humans have become increasingly removed from the natural world. You sound like you have a great respect for nature and are aware of how spending time in nature, offers so many benefits to you.
I agree that the statistic about 75% of whites having no non-white friends, is very startling. It really speaks to the larger issue and why there can be little understanding between the two races. I really hope this shifts soon as well. I believe our future depends on us reassessing where we are at in our humanity and using all the tools we can to transform it. Nature is a grand teacher and I do believe there is much to learn from it…perhaps our humanity depends on it.
Nature is a beautiful way to remind everyone about life’s diversity. We are all so incredibly wonderful in our own way. Xoxo
Thanks for this very beautiful insight about nature, humanity and diversity, Natasha! We are all so incredibly wonderful in our similarities and our differences. xo
This is a powerful post, Beverley, on 2 subjects that are close to my heart – nature and humanity. When things are wonky or I’m feeling stressed, it’s Mother Nature that calms my mind and watching squirrels running around or trying to stop MIss Coco from chasing birds brings me back to basics.
I just wish there wasn’t so much violence, hatred and acts against humanity. Those people who’ve forgotten their true nature need to spend more time outdoor absorbing the myriad forms of life. Perhaps they do suffer from Nature Deficit Disorder.
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Thanks so much for your positive reaction to this post, Vatsala! I love that both nature and humanity are very dear to your heart, just as they are to mine. It’s amazing how powerful nature is as a positive pacifier and yet so many of the people in our world have very little connection to it anymore. Something has gone dramatically wrong. I find watching animals, so entertaining as well. They offer a new perspective to each moment.
I also wish we were able to rally our intrinsic peace energy from within, as we seem to be exhibiting the exact opposite now. I also believe we can get people back to their true nature, through exposing them to nature. I would say a large percentage of the world’s population is probably suffering from nature deficit disorder. Hope some shifts and changes happen soon!
I’ve loved many of your posts, Beverley, but this has to be my favorite one so far. Maybe because you are speaking on a topic particularly close to my heart. I was so happy to read this quote: “The intention was to discover what the optimum amount of competition was for any environment – whether a classroom, playing field or family. The conclusion was zero.” I have witnessed and been subject to so much artificially manufactured social Darwinism and it is just so wrong. I love Benjamin Franklin’s systems of cooperating with and helping friends, peers and associates through the guilds he created and that is, I think, a much better model. Together we rise! And I feel that you are touching on one of the central ideas of the Divine Feminine – the reconnection to nature, which is so desperately needed today. The world is in desperate need of rebalancing – and quickly. xo
Reba Linker recently posted…Masculine/Feminine Balance
Thank you so much for your support, Reba! I truly appreciate your heart-centred compassion and understanding. And, I am delighted to hear that this post really resonated with you and is your favourite of mine. Yes, humans are not ‘designed’ to live in competition and the notion that both humans and nature operate from a ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality, is just false. Even Darwin ultimately admitted he was wrong, yet that original treatise, prevailed. I am not overly familiar with Ben Franklin’s systems of cooperation and helping others, and I appreciate you sharing it with me and others. Sounds like he was much wiser in his understanding of humanity and nature. I appreciate hearing that I am touching on one of the central ideas of Divine Feminine too. For many centuries great thinkers have talked about our connection to nature and how much we humans could learn from it. Perhaps with the rise of the feminine on the planet, we will finally get it and embrace it. We are indeed desperately in need to a total rebalancing as quickly as possible! xo
Last evening I popped in my DVD of Wayne Dyer speaking about his year of studying the Tao de Ching. I was enchanted by the metaphors of nature and how it always knows what a to do next in a natural flow and rhythm without any force or rush. 🙂 Thank you…..nice reading your article and reflecting.
Teresa recently posted…New Discovery from a Self-Help Junkie
Thanks for sharing your reflections on this topic, Teresa. Yes, nature always knows what to do and yet, we humans have not learned the valuable lessons nature has to teach us. Love hearing that watching Wayne Dyer and his year of studying the Tao de Ching, coupled with this post, got you thinking and reflecting. Appreciate hearing you enjoyed reading this article too. 🙂
Yea, I don’t get it.. how did we get here.. why do we (not me, but peeps) hate people so much. How did we get to the place to justify hatred and disgust with reciprocating the same hatred and disgust by killing other people… wth and how does that make sense… not to mention generalizing genders or races, as it happens to be, so that if one cop is corrupt, they all must be… if one Republican says X then we all must be, if one black person is a gangsta, they all must be… and regressing to an eye for an eye but we are past the days of slaves… so, are we moving forward or backwards but also picking and choosing WHAT we want to follow. I’m glad that I won’t be living in this forever.. that’s for sure.
Kristen Wilson recently posted…Do You Walk the Walk or Just Talk the Talk?
I have all the same questions you do, Kristen. I keep wondering how it all went so wrong, as I believe that at the core of who we are as human beings…we do want peace and inclusion. The challenge is that so many people to do not feel seen and heard. We have created a society of outsiders and even those who appear to be surrounded by friends and loved ones, often still feel alone. It really is up to each of us to hold the possibility of peace on this planet. If we give up, then we give in and the future will be the same as we are seeing now. I hope you’ll stand for peace, love and equality….for all not just for the elites who seem to have it now. Thanks for caring and for sharing your questions with us all! Let’s all be the change we want to see in the world…maybe then we will see the changes we long for.
I love this post, Beverley. I’m a big fan of spending time enjoying nature and learning the lessons its example shows us daily. I find inner peace when I’m in tune with nature and I believe if everyone felt inner peace it would reflect in world peace.
Tamuria recently posted…GET ORGANISED WITH THESE GREAT RECYCLING PROJECTS
What you’ve shared it the simple truth of how nature could impact humanity, Tami. Thank you for that. We humans often complicate issues, when a doable solution exists if we are willing to look at the possibilities. Imagine if part of all children’s early education included spending time in nature and learning to have a reverence for life? I agree with you that that sense of inner peace, would reflect into the world as a whole. Inner peace = outer peace.
What a heavy topic. Yes, much to learn from nature but it is not so ‘black & white’. Not all animal creatures coexist. Plants maybe, birds, some but there is an order in the natural world. Some cats & dogs get along great- many don’t.
Our racial issues are far too complex with a history we are not proud of- nature can’t address it.
Don’t get me wrong. I have always found peace, inspiration, visual pleasure in nature and couldn’t live without access to it. But a solution to our problems of hate & violence. Don’t think so. I know that is not what you are recommending.
A great piece for a Ted talk.
What if young children were taught from an early age the lessons nature has for us, Roslyn? Part of the issue is a complete disconnect and for many inner city children, an isolation from the natural world. There are many ways to learn more and to integrate the natural world with the man made human world. Yes, it is a complicated topic and much of it stems from isolation and not having an opportunity to ‘know’ the other. The other is anyone who might be different than we are. Some of us are curious, others are taught to fear those who are different. Sometimes I wonder if we humans have made it complicated. Maybe it really is that simple. If at the core of who we are we are love and peace, then we are at a time in our history when we are being called to “return to love”. Yes, I know how much nature is a profound inspiration for you and then I would ask, “what if everyone had that same profound relationship to it?” Would we see changes in the way we treat each other? The studies show that nature does actually co-exist much more than we believe. There is a natural order but remember that a lion who kills a deer for example, only takes what it needs. Thanks for adding your perspective to this conversation. I appreciate it. A TED talk…hmm. It is definitely an interesting conversation for sure.
I love this and totally agree that nature is the best teacher. I have to say, nature helps us by bringing us back to earth and making us really see what is going on. This is the reason I like to take walks in nature. Thank you for the reminder.
So happy this post really resonated with you, Sabrina. I’ve discovered nature rather late in life, and yet, I fully understand how important it is in all of our lives. Nature is our greatest teacher. I also love walking in nature and especially love hiking in Sedona, which is so new for me. Happy this was a strong reminder for you of how powerful nature is in your life!
What a lovely article, Beverley. Isn’t it amazing how nature manages to get along and cooperate and accept? I think we humans think too much without really considering why we are being so critical and/or uncaring of people who are a bit different.
I’ve always enjoyed the May you live in interesting times remark.
Just imagine what could be accomplished if we were harmonious. Peace on earth! Good will towards everyone!
Beth Niebuhr recently posted…Women Entrepreneurs and Pricing
Some may call me naive in my belief that our solutions are much simpler than we think, Beth. Yes, if we observe nature, we really get an objective picture of what is possible for us humans as well. That saying is often misinterpreted and yet, it really speaks to the times we are living in right now. I keep holding the possibility of harmony and peace on the planet and truly believe it is something all of us humans really do want! Now to get there and make it our reality.
I so believe in peace through culture, which is merely educating ourselves about the way others live and feel and be. You hit the nail on this, Bev–it’s only by getting to know the “other” in our midst, that we find how similar we truly are.
And I just love Nature Deficit Disorder! So, very true how we find peace and joy and creativity in nature . . .
Susan Mary Malone recently posted…What if Youâre Right where Youâre Supposed to Be?
I’m with you on the peace through culture idea, Susan and it is amazing to me that we haven’t quite learned this or embodied it fully yet. It is about knowing the ‘other’ and taking the time to see them as fellow human beings who have more in common with us, than not. This idea of Nature Deficit Disorder made so much sense to me in the overall context of this topic and perhaps if we included this in our education from a young age, things would be very different.
Beverley – I love the idea of ‘Nature Deficit Disorder.’ I’ve lived in the Midwest all my life, and have had the great privilege of witnessing plants and animals in their natural habitats almost every day. I have to agree with Mr. Suzuki – the heart of our problem IS a disconnect with the natural world. Moreover, I fear that the heart of our problem is our destroying our natural world. I have a funny little vision in my head that when the next pandemic wipes out a great share of humans, 1/2 million other species stands up and yells, “Yippee!”
Joan Potter recently posted…CARING FOR OUR VETS
Sounds like your funny little vision in your head, might be an interesting book, Joan. Yes, I think nature knows so much more than we do and I believe there is much to learn from it. The challenge, as you agree, is that we humans have lost touch with the natural world and unfortunately believe it is there for our taking. It must be lovely to live in the Midwest and enjoy the plants and animals that co-habit with you. Yes, I loved this idea of Nature Deficit Disorder as well and believe it is taking its toll on our humanity.