We say we love flowers, yet we pluck them; we say we love trees, yet we cut them down. What does our mind think and heart feel when we say something and do something else? Perceptions and feelings keep changing according to the environment; our moods, get changed day by day depending on the environment. How does the natural environment affect human thoughts, feelings, and behaviours?
The fact is that 90% of children’s stories, cartoons, etc. feature animals as the main characters. Photos and artworks of nature and natural scenes adorn our homes, work-places, used as screen savers, etc. Dwellings with views of nature (e.g. ocean views) are highly valued. Hence, natural environment influences human thoughts, feelings and behaviours in every aspect.
However, if we look at the other side of the coin it’s interesting to know about how human actions affect the environment. We raise our voice for Green peace, go green, and plant a tree, and cricket players promote these through their jerseys’ in the IPL matches. But all this is momentary and falls short when it comes to reality. Another live example: the garden in our homes fills joy and pleasure, no matter how long we enjoyed being there. If 5 yards of land in our home keeps our mind calm and heart happy, imagine if the whole of our surrounding goes green. It will surely be a prodigious transformation.
India is the land of villages. The village environment is always cool, green and lovable. The green fields, the small water ponds, lakes and banks of flowing river all affect the behaviour of people. In contrast, cities witness malls, pubs, KFC’S, Mc Donald’s, CCD’s and finally artificial rain dances. The people in cities don’t even enjoy the rain in a natural way. All this affects the attitude of these people. The one who exposes himself/herself to the nature in a natural way behaves in a different manner.
The urban population is generally unfriendly and they maintain distance from others. The people in villages, on the other hand are warm-hearted and congenial. Villagers receive you well where as city-dwellers tend to stay within their doors. The rural people are very helpful in nature whereas we, though helpful tend to be more selfish in our attitude. Most of the people in the cities never come out to feel the natural beauty but hang out with their buddies for the short term enjoyments. Hence this has resulted in medical complications and as a solution for these, doctors and psychologists are being encouraged to consider “green” experiences (in touch with nature) and “green prescriptions” as part of the physical and psychological health promotion, prevention, and treatment regimens.
Finally how to overcome these problems and make our living environment livelier? Saalumarada Thimmakka(from Karnataka), a peerless green champion, in her own village, stretched over 4 kms, planted 284 banyan trees many decades ago, which were nurtured by her. Not all of us can become like her! But let’s think of her achievement, and motivate ourselves to work for a better environment around us. Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction. Every creature is better alive than dead, men, moose and pine trees, and he/she who understands this aright, will rather preserve its life than to destroy it.
As we lack the ability to create the natural environment we have no authority to destroy it, in the name of development. If we continue the same scenario then a day will come where the green trees and the brown soil disappear. So stop stealing the earth and start healing it.