Humanities Disconnect

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I used to think that being human meant being a highly evolved species. I used to think that humans were the smartest animal on the planet. I used to think that humans were the caretakers of the Earth. Over the years my idea of what it meant to be human has changed drastically. Today’s humans do not appear to be all that smart, after all, how smart is it to destroy the planet you live on out of negligence and greed. What good is all of the money in the world if we have no planet to live on? Humans are capable of so much, yet our gifts are squandered and wasted on consumerism and war. Our minds are kept busy with dollar figures and competitiveness; who has the nicest car, who has the biggest house, what new product do I have to get my hands on today? These distractions keep us so busy that we lose sight of what really matters. We have forgotten that we are the caretakers of the Earth. What if we all remembered our responsibility to this planet and started living in harmony with nature again? What could we accomplish if we all banded together and decided to change this world for the better?

People used to work with nature on a regular basis. They used to put their hands in the dirt, plant seeds, and connect with the Earth at a very deep level. They used to pray daily for sun and water to help their crops grow and they would give thanks to the sun, water, plants and animals for sustaining their lives. Our ancestors did not take the Earth for granted. They knew that they owed their lives to this planet and its natural resources. People used to respect the earth and love it as if it were a nurturing mother. They used to understand that it is important to live in harmony with nature.

Human beings of the 21st century have a very limited relationship with their environment. Often people ignore their environment, until the environment demands their attention, as is the case with tornadoes, earthquakes and other forms of natural disaster. People have lost their connection with nature and this disconnect has created all sorts of problems for both humanity and the natural world. People are struggling to find balance in a world that is so confused and lost. You don’t have to watch the news to know that something is terribly wrong with the way humans are treating each other and the rest of the natural world. Rain forests are raped for lumber and animals go extinct everyday. Pollution is everywhere. Now that it is starting to affect our drinking water, people are finally starting to pay attention, but is it too little too late? Where did such an evolved species go wrong?

The way we live now is in many ways quite similar to the lifestyles of the characters found in the science fiction book, “The Stone Gods” by Jeanette Winterson. In this book the planet is dyeing due to it’s being abused by self centered humans who have grown so lazy and dependent on technology that they have robots that do almost everything for them. One of the characters talks about how the planet is evolving to be hostile to human life, and the other character retorts in the planet’s defense, “OK, so it’s the planet’s fault. We didn’t do anything, did we? Just fucked it to death and kicked it when it wouldn’t get up.” This is so much like what our species has done to planet Earth, and now we see all of these natural disasters almost as if our planet too is evolving to be hostile to human life. After everything we have put it through, can we really blame it? If humanity continues down this path, we may very well find ourselves on a dying planet much like the characters of this book.

We have replaced our relationship with nature with our relationship with technology. Our phones are now the one thing we cannot live without. Our gadgets are what wake us up in the morning and what tell us when it is time to go to sleep. We hardly take notice of the natural cycles and cues that woke up our ancestors and told them when it was time to go to sleep. We have replaced nature with technology and we worship it like our ancestors worshiped the sun. How foolish, that we pay such respect to inanimate objects that offer us nothing but distraction. How ridiculous that we have thrown away our relationship with nature, and the life sustaining energies of the sun, earth, air and water for a relationship with toys that offer us nothing but pollution from their manufacturing. What are we doing? Are we really the most intelligent species on this planet?