Man and Nature The case of a weakened bond

Dr Junaid Jazib Nature, spread all around in the surroundings as a system of systems,is an amazing lap in which life blooms in its countless forms. It is a living and lively cradle that supports, protects and nestles us all in a web of life. It’s a huge whole of materials, energy, forces and conditions which work together to sustain the gamut of life on the planet. The history of man’s intimacies with nature goes well beyond his recallable past. It is in fact as old as own existential tale. He originated in the lap of nature as the finest of its products and evolved under its precise influences. The earth and spectrum of life on it was already older enough at the time of man’s arrival. An undisturbed balance and harmony in the surroundings taught and required man to respect its serenity and conform to the laws of nature. Nature generously opened all her treasures for him to explore and exploit for his survival. Man, before having adapted to a social life, developed an emotional as well as very logical relationship with his surroundings in order to lead a better life. Man is an organic part of nature and can’t afford to survive detached from it. He is intrinsically connected to it for everything he eats, wears or does. He is but a system of natural substances arranged in a specific order. He is a reproduction of his surroundings which flows into and out of his body when he eats, drinks or breathes. Within him is the reflection of nature not an imaginary one but a real collection of natural materials and energy. Elemental carbon, calcium or phosphorus bound in soil today will be part of his flesh tomorrow. Hydrogen atom forming a molecule of rain water is likely to be inside of him any time. Oxygen released by an oak tree may flow in his blood in near future. Man draws all his sustenance including peace of mind, spiritual attainments and aesthetic delight from nature. He nurtured a strong feeling of oneness with nature. It reflects in his spirituality, traditions and habits, art and culture, wisdom and even in scientific progress. He learnt from nature, revered it and cared for it. Elements of nature were given sanctity in one way or the other and all fellow beings were used to be considered members of one family. But then came into play human greed and thoughtlessness in the guise of modern human society that has drawn him away from nature. An exploitative attitude has replaced our respect and love for nature. Unwarranted interferences in nature have ruined its fine and fragile balance. Ruthless exploitation of natural resources has damaged our surroundings permanently and beyond its recuperative capacity. Basic constituents of nature like air, water and soil are altered and filled with poisonous substances. Land is rendered barren and bereft of its green cover and luxuriant biodiversity. In fact man has transformed entire landscape from its natural and beautiful form into an unsafe and wretched world. Needless to remind that the slightest of oscillations occurring in any part of nature is bound to be reflected in human lives. What we do to nature is fated to come back to us. Scarcity of food and water, spread of diseases, climatic severities, drying rivers, swelling oceans, floods and droughts, etc. are some of the manifestations of a disturbed and distorted nature. Nature stood there as a goose laying golden eggs for us but we, in the illusion of claiming all the eggs at once, have torn it apart. The consequences of chaos and distortions in nature are to be borne by us and the generations to come. Despite our technological advancement and illusive detachment from nature, or for that matter a win over it, our being and well-being is fundamentally controlled by it. We feel richer and triumphant when nature bestows her resources on us but simply helpless when it rages. In present state of affairs, we are desperately required to reunite with nature for our existence and a better future but home gardens and flower pot blooms are not going to suffice. Let’s go back to the nature and connect with it affectionately. We need it for our own survival and its there to accommodate us in her benevolent lap. Let’s have a place for it in our thoughts and actions. Caged in AC rooms and hinged to the tablets and PCs, our generation is far from having capabilities to experience nature. Let’s rediscover our emotional association with nature and gift it to this and the next generations. Let’s go beyond intellectual and logical levels and also practice spirituality to connect with nature. Let’s feel the joy of being part of it. (The author is HoD, Environmental Sciences, Govt Degree College Rajouri)