Global Health and Environment

Nature Is the Most Graceful Teacher

By Ariyana Khan

Edited by Adeeb Chowdhury

If I was a Martian and looked at Earth from Mars with my telescope-like eyes, I would definitely be jealous of the fusion of blue and green beauty coupled with multifarious other colors that the eyes of the inhabitants of Earth are treated with every day. I would long to hear the tweeting of birds and to feel zephyrs caressing my skin. The nature that we have been gifted with is indeed a blessing that we tend to take for granted at times. We start learning from our birth and this process of gaining knowledge lasts up to the moment when we breathe our last; a significant source of our learning is nature.

Nature teaches me what my textbooks cannot. When I look outside, I see grey smoke escaping through the exhaust pipes of vehicles, besmirching the cerulean sky. I see construction companies cutting down age-old tress to build ephemeral skyscrapers. I see litter being thrown in roads and water bodies callously. When this happens, I hear nature crying out in pain. I feel impatient and restless. I have the impulsive thought of going and shouting at people for being so selfish. However, nature stops me; it reminds me that when a seed is planted with love and care, the fruits that the tree bears are so much sweeter. It teaches me to be patient and to explain calmly to people how they should not be overexploiting nature’s resources. My requests are dismissed as the ‘whims of a teenager’ but I learn from nature not to give up.

One day, I was watching a herd of hyenas on the television. They were hunting for prey and stayed closely together for there is ‘strength in numbers’. I knew what I had to do next and discussed my quest to protect the nature with my classmates. Soon after, we started a blog to support our cause which spread the message among our target audience rapidly. Although it is nothing very significant, nature has taught me to be optimistic; after all, it takes every painstaking drop of water to form an ocean.

The Moon’s maria, which is like scars on its body, never deters us from praising its pulchritude on a full moon night; In the same way, we should not expect people to do everything perfectly because if humans did not make mistakes, they would not be humans in the first place. Of course, without criticism we will never learn from our mistakes but when we evaluate a person’s character, the vices should not be allowed to overshadow the person’s virtues. The world has lost many talented people due to this. To make the world a better and peaceful place to live, this attitude will have to be embraced.

We live in a world full of diversity where we are differentiated by nationality, race, religion and many other criteria. However, the sky teaches me that despite the many disparities that exist, we are the same.  For example, India and Pakistan have borders between them but the sky that runs above India is the one that runs above Pakistan too. We do not say that the sky that runs above India belongs to India or the sky that runs above Pakistan belongs to Pakistan; this is because it belongs to all of us, it belongs to the Earth. The colour of the sky on either side of the borders is the same. India and Pakistan have been fighting a cold war against each other for ‘ownership’ of Jammu and Kashmir. Isn’t it funny how they’ve been fighting over something which anyway belongs to them, which belongs to the Earth?  Nature stimulates me to envision a world with religious, cultural and racial harmony.

On one of my visits to the sea, I had the priceless opportunity to behold a pearl in its oyster. As I gazed at its charm with my mouth agape, I learned an important lesson .Although I am uncertain of its veracity, I recently came to know that in 5 to 6 billion years, the Sun might become a red giant, engulfing the Earth and rendering it uninhabitable. If this is true, then we should be doing as much as we can to protect the Earth like a pearl is by its oyster because indeed it is our most prized possession. It is time to show some humanity towards Mother Earth. Perhaps the greatest lesson that I have holistically learnt from nature is that the Earth can survive without us but we cannot, without it.

 

About the Author

Ariyana Khan
Journalist of the Global Environment and Health department

Ariyana is a student of Chittagong Grammar School. Besides reading, she likes writing, baking and getting to know about things unknown to her. The celestial body is her favourite topic of discussion. Ariyana can be reached on ariyanakhan2001@gmail.com.

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