nurturing the environment
‘The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less we shall have for destruction’.
‘Surely it is our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us, but for all life on earth’.
(Sir David Attenborough)
HOM: Responding with Wonderment and Awe
At this time of the year, we turn our attention to nurturing our environment, both the built environment and the natural environment. In so doing, we will create a world where we can flourish and one that also ‘provides a home not just for us but all life on earth’.
One of the first people to highlight the importance of nurturing our environment and the consequences of not doing so was Rachel Carson (1907-64), an American biologist who wrote the book ‘Silent Spring’. The book provided a model of radical environmental activism that questioned prevailing attitudes about the benefits of scientific progress and the attitude that humans should take toward nature. Considered alarmist at the time, she is now recognised as a prophetic voice raising concerns of which we are only now too aware.
One thing of which Rachel Carson was certain, was the importance of people focussing their attention on ‘the wonders and realities of the universe’, in order that they might be inspired to nurture and take care of it. When people feel connected to their environment in which they live, they are more likely to care and less likely to exploit it.
In a report carried out by the National Trust, it was found that there was a clear link between ‘noticing nature’ and acting to conserve it. The report says ‘according to our research, such moments are a defining factor when it comes to taking pro-nature conservation action. Noticing nature in small, everyday ways could lead to radical results. We’ve found that ‘noticing nature’ and ‘nature connectedness’ are strongly linked to people taking conservation action.’ Therefore, by reconnecting on a daily basis, we could be laying the foundations for the very survival of our planet. We are less likely to destroy that which we love and to which we feel connection.
And by nurturing our environment we nurture ourselves. The power of the natural world is that it can help us gain a new perspective on our own lives and the world around us. So this autumn, at a time when we are also thankful for the harvest, we need to pull on our wellies or walking boots, get out there and start noticing… whatever the weather!