As humans we are all a part of nature. Although when one hears the word ‘Nature’ what tends to come to mind is a forest or open fields or just greenery in the simplest of ways those are not the only things that nature consists of. Nature is also the sea and the sky and even space. I would go as far as to say that even the concrete mess we call cities or roads is all part of nature. In my most humble opinion the definition of nature is simply where our and all other living beings lives go on.
However, I also believe that as humans we have arrogance unrivalled compared to the other living beings that we share nature with. We always talk about saving the planet while actually meaning ourselves. Because if you think about it should a disaster of some sort occur that wiped out the entire human race what would happen to all the other organisms and nature itself? Well, even though it does depend on the type of disaster the simplest answer is, nothing. Nature has existed long before we were here and shall continue to do so long after we are gone. Then the question becomes how will we survive and more than that how will we live in peace. That is why I believe animals are the way to go.
As humans we have a very contradictory pattern of behaviour, we believe we have more self control than any other being yet our self control is not enough to stop us from destroying our chances of survival on our planet. We can never settle for the bare necessities. Animals however, do just that. You never see a bird taking too much food to its nest, you never see a wolf hunt more than it needs etc. Us humans however, even though we are essentially evolved apes, have lost that ability somewhere along the way, nothing is ever enough and everything we have is just a stepping-stone to what else we can get. This eternal struggle we fight is what causes the irritation we all have within us and this is what we must battle to achieve peace. I believe we should strive to achieve “natural peace” by connecting or rather strengthening our connection with animals.
You may ask how or why this would work, well that is part of why I am writing this blog. As for evidence or another mean of persuasion I offer the great example of therapy animals. It is reported that people are more active and responsive both during –and after- a visit with animals. Medical studies and clinical research show that a therapy dog can not only have medical benefits – such as stress relief, or lower blood pressure- but also provide a sense of comfort, confidence and companionship. To go even simpler than medical studies just try and think about how you feel after seeing the photo of a cute puppy and/or kitten.
I needn’t ask how you feel after seeing this photo.
Another aspect you may be wondering is what my personal experience with animals or more specifically my motive in writing this blog is. My first experience with animals was the day I came home from the hospital after being born. Her name was ‘Baileys’, she was a one-year-old border-collie puppy, the main character of my fondest childhood memories and my best friend until the day she died. Her life taught me love, friendship and respect for nature and her death taught me how to deal with loss, or in a parallel sense to this blog, to settle with what I had, what the universe had deemed enough for me.
Also I must say that I have always been moved profoundly by stories of pet-owner bonds that surpass the norm. Like dogs who refuse to leave their masters’ side long after their death. I feel that such levels of connections should be the norm instead of extremities and more importantly that learning from these connections we can improve our way of life as a society.
Finally I believe that my own words will not suffice to end this blog so I would most humbly like to use an extract from final speech made by Charlie Chaplin in the film “The Great Dictator”. I believe although that in it’s entirety this speech is one of my favourites, this extract should summarise what I mean almost perfectly.
“We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.
Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….
The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men – cries out for universal brotherhood – for the unity of us all.”
-Charlie Chaplin “The Great Dictator”-
Understanding and appreciating the connection of humankind and nature with all other living beings will help us realize what is actually within us all and therefore live in peace. With each other and consequentially nature.