Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why do we Have To be Nice to Nature?

” Mommy, why do we have to be nice to nature?” asked my 5 year old Bodee on a sunny hike through a nature reserve. We were on our Sunday family hike and I had curtailed his desire to crush anthills and smash flowers and he didn’t like it. And yet, he really authentically wanted to know why…

” First of all, we don’t HAVE to be. And alot of people aren’t nice to nature. You don’t have to be. It’s a choice. You can be. As your Mommy I ask you to be nice to nature, and you can choose to be. Why do you think we might want to be nice to nature?’

He thought carefully” Because they do to us what we do to it. ”

He was roughly quoting the Golden Rule that we had discussed earlier when a squabble erupted between he and his 2 year old brother.

“Great Bodee!….Ben, why do You think we might choose to be nice to nature?” My 8 year old was listening in on the conversation and I was curious to know what gears were churning in his brain.

“Because we ARE nature.” he said simply and dashed over a dirt slope, off the lead the way on our adventure.

We ARE nature.

With the natural disasters happening in Japan and in so many parts of the globe, with such devastating, unthinkable results, it would behoove us to think about our intricate connection to the nature we are.

We are 78% water. If our water sources are endangered, polluted, hoarded or scarce. WE are.

We are consumers of food, which come from nature. If our food is polluted, sprayed with pesticides, highly processed, sprinkled with preservatives or genetically engineered, WE are too.

We are breathers of air. If we create pollution and it goes into the air, through exhaust pipes, factories chimneys, radiation or reactors, and the result is polluted air, WE are polluted too.

We are creators, doers, we Cause as well…we are producers of pollution, which impact nature and ourselves in ways we cannot always see or measure. Just like not crushing an anthill or leaving a flower for a hummingbird to draw nectar from has an unimaginable impact on nature….regardless of how minute we think it is…nature has unimaginable impact on us.

Just imagine, all of human kind’s existence, if measured in distance, would be the thickness of a human hair compared to the existence of the universe and planets. When you think of it that way, one earthquake begins to look a little like grains of sand for an ant hill to the universe.

Sounds like a blasphemous trivialization, doesn’t it? AND what’s so is that the earth will shift again, and will we make up that God is angry and it’s the end of the world, and be victims and raise our stress levels or will we look to an empowering context for our feelings and meaning in life. We can be nice to ourselves or not.

And nature doesn’t care about NICE by the way. Nature, the universe…doesn’t know what nice is. It just is. The plates move. The water flows. The mud slides. There is no meaning of nice or not nice about it. We humans add the meaning of nice or not.

Yes, the results to us are unthinkable…but the source of the tragedy is not in the plates shifting or the water flowing. The source of the tragedy actually comes from a blessed place. It is a tragedy because we love. We care, we are connected to other human beings, to their dreams, their lives, their children. We are related to what matters to them and those they love.

That’s where a situation becomes a tradgedy…when my child is present to what the ants are up to, he chooses on his own, not to crush the anthill. He chooses not to create a tragedy for them. He is a child with imagination and choice.

Nature however, will continue to ebb and flow, rocks and water do not imagine or think about what they are going to do today. God even, if you believe, I assert created the earth and nature as it is, perfect and whole and complete, and just like human beings, nature does what it does. Only it doesn’t have choice. If we can acknowledge the source of the tragedy of natural disasters is within US, and it comes from a source of LOVE, that we are amazing, then we are empowered and peace and creation can begin.

How can we be nice to nature, and to ourselves, today?

Wishing you and your loved ones peace.

With Love,

Zen Honeycutt

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