There has been a tremendous attempt over the last few decades to convince people that the natural world is something to be protected and cherished.
We have tried to show the damage being done and the beauty lost through statistics.
We have tried to capitalize upon the market economy by pushing green business, renewable energy and a host of other products that can work with and help nature instead of wrecking it.
Both these efforts have worked to some degree, but they can only do so much.
We need a cultural shift in the narrative that we raise our people in.
When you go to a city like Kyoto, there is no trash littering the streets, people are not walking around smoking, and there is nature around every corner. Why is that? Is it because the people living in Kyoto are living in fear of governmental punishment? The answer is no.
The japanese in Kyoto have simply crafted a cultural narrative that was explained to them ever since they were young. A narrative of respect towards nature, respect towards the humans around them, and a respect for themselves. You do not ruin your environment, because you ARE the environment, as our your fellow brothers and sisters living beside you.
People don’t even need to think about it much anymore, they just don’t create a mess around them, and they appreciate all the quiet, serene nature that exists in tandem with them, and so they maintain it.
Here in western societies, we have lost sight of these facts. Even those who espouse love of nature and spend much of their time there will still toss garbage onto the street or out in nature simply because they are too lazy to hold onto it until they find a trash bin. Our cities and towns are not built with nature and beauty integrated into every street corner, instead we only have specialized parks, where everyone can walk in circles like good little mice in a cage, going round and round on their wheels.
I am someone who definitely believes in the freedom to live as you wish, and I do not like the idea of governments or religions attempting to indoctrinate us at young ages into certain belief systems.
That being said, at a certain point we need to acknowledge how fundamentally important nature is to our health, both psychologically and physically.
Every study ever done on feelings of joy, awe, and peace show that a deep connection to nature and other humans are intrinsic to our ability to experience those emotions.
As someone who spends an inordinate amount of time reading, playing games, writing, and watching anime, as well as other activities which tend to keep me indoors, I think one of the most important messages I want to get across to others like myself is to not lose sight of how important the natural world is to our sanity.
We all need to get out into these pure spaces and give our minds the chance to refresh and renew themselves. We are not robots, we cannot just constantly drain our mental and physical energies and never replenish ourselves.
We are spiritual creatures in a sense, and we need to accept that connection we have to others and the world around us.
Computers and phones, consoles and televisions, these are really awesome technologies, but nature is just as awesome and quite frankly healthier for us.
So enjoy your geekhood, but do it with an eye to weaving nature into your daily lives, and maybe let everyone know how important it is so that we can start to change our cultural narrative before it’s too late and we live in a world of concrete blocks.
Creativity only exists in relation to the beautiful natural world, it doesn’t get sparked by ugly grey buildings and computer screens.
Let’s wake up before it’s too late.
Stay healthy, stay geeky folks.