In this article I’m going to explore what I feel we can learn from nature, the pandemic and our climate crisis.
Last night I watched David Attenborough’s: A Life On Our Planet.
As I sat crying at his obvious distress as he talked about what we had done to the planet, one thing stood out beyond the words.
We are all connected. We are all one. Our planet dies and we die.
Or as he so eloquently shares, we don’t need to save the planet, we need to save ourselves.
Nature and balance
Nature is incredible. It maintains its own balance. Species never get beyond a certain number that can be sustained. Imagine that.
Over the years as I’ve watched Attenborough programmes, although I may have been upset by seeing animals dying, I’ve understood it to be perfection in nature. Nature’s way of maintaining balance.
But as humans we think we know better. We try to ‘fix’ and change things. We have become disconnected from nature. And I don’t just mean physically.
The noise, the busyness, the constant doing, has taken us away from what we know. It has disconnected us from our true nature; our own ‘inner compass’.
Rather than following our intuition, we go outside ourselves for answers, or look to our intellect.
We ask other people, or Google. Or we churn problems over, looking in our internal filing system for the answers.
We’ve forgotten that the intelligence behind nature drives us too. We are one and the same. All the answers are there when we look within.
But we’ve been told or shown that it’s good to question; it’s good to analyse and to struggle and make life hard.
But what if there were an easier way?
What if we look to nature to find out what that is?
What can nature show us?
See to me, when I get out of my intellect I just know what to do. I don’t have to figure things out. Stress about things; go over and over my options.
No, as soon as I get quiet, as soon as I step outside of all of that, the answer appears.
At the end of the film, Sir David finishes with what we can do to prevent our extinction. It’s so simple and obvious that it’s laughable.
Firstly, we go back to how we used to live using the same principles that we knew when we were hunter gatherers. When we were connected to our inner knowing. That is to say; we live sustainably…never using more resources than can be replaced. Obvious, yet not something we have done.
Secondly, we bring everyone out of poverty in order to stabilise the global population…
“The fairest way to stabilise the global population is to help poorer nations to develop. When this happens, diet and healthcare improve, child mortality decreases and families have fewer children. It is also true that wherever women have the vote, wherever girls stay in school for longer and wherever women are free to follow their aspirations, the birth rate falls. Raising people out of poverty and empowering women is the fairest way to bring this period of rapid population growth to an end.”Sir David Attenborough
Thirdly we eat less meat and utilise farm land more productively, turning much of it back into natural habitats.
See it’s obvious. It’s common sense. You don’t need a huge intellect to understand how to solve our climate crisis.
What about the pandemic?
I can’t help but think that our current situation is part of the brilliance of nature.
Our global population has been increasing at a terrifying rate.
In Sir David’s lifetime it has grown from 2 billion to more than 7.5 billion, and biodiversity has been devastated as a consequence.
Introduce a global pandemic.
I’m sure it’s no coincidence.
Our population growth has had a devastating impact on our planet and perhaps it’s time to bring back balance?
But of course, because of how far we’ve come as a race, we have to intervene. To preserve life at all costs, regardless of the quality of that life.
We only have to look at the mental health statistics in England alone to see that mental health has been affected by the measures taken to slow the spread of the virus.
And we’ve no real idea of the long term impact. We may prevent deaths but at what cost?
I know it’s controversial but I can’t help but think that perhaps we should let nature take its course.
So what can we learn from nature?
For me the message is clear.
Nature is intelligent. The fact that no species ever grows bigger than can be maintained; that a seed knows what plant to grow into; that birds know when and where to migrate, is no accident.
When we stop trying to control every detail and stop using our intellect to overcome ‘problems’; when we open up to the possibility that we too are part of that greater intelligence behind life (that it guides us too) then we’ll know the answers.
The answers to our own questions and to the greater questions about our worlds future.
We are not separate from nature; we are part of it. We just need to slow down enough to experience that.
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