- Education and Science
Nature is the best teacher
Nature has always played a vital role in the development of humanity. A glance over the history of human creations will make you realise that it is the history of inspirations from nature but being an inspirer isn't the only role played by nature. A pupil of nature admires it for being the best teacher there ever could. In its teaching it is subtle, aesthetic, sometimes brutally honest, instilling values that will able one to traverse even the widest of oceans. Its teachings are vast and helpful in every aspect of life, below are few teachings from nature that are of immense importance in my life.
It becomes easier ahead.
Once on my trail into the wild I came across, probably, the most beautiful waterfall I have ever seen. My inquisitive steps took me to the edge of the cliff from where water transmogrified into a white mist. A stream only few metres wide culminated in the waterfall, with time in hand and curiosity fueling my vigour I scaled the altitude to the source of the stream, a small pond. There sitting on a rock besides the pond I gazed down at the cliff pondering upon the path of the stream, few fallen trees, debris from rock slides and barrages formed from multifarious forest litter had made the descent of the stream a harsh affair but the impediments became less frequent and far placed as it coursed downhill to bloom into its mystical white form. “This is life” I said to myself. Path to our dreams will always have obstacles but if we follow our dreams mercilessly like a stream refusing to cease the obstacles on our path will become less frequent and far placed as we progress towards the realization of our dreams.
A casual gaze over our natural surroundings will be enough for anyone to notice the mundane routines of organisms. Birds, ants, trees, fish and many other inhabitants of nature are all involved in acts that are repetitive; wake up, work, sleep and repeat so to speak. But a closer look, especially of mammals and birds, will reveal a playfulness that will charm you, liberate you from the shackles of stress. Individuals in a flock of birds are often seen performing aerial acrobatics, involved in friendly poking games and playing tug with some objects; solemn mammals like lions in a pride are seen competing in harmless wrestling matches and merrily rolling on the ground as if attempting to see the world from a different perspective. These activities produce pleasurable experiences for the individuals, helping them perform their tasks successfully.
It isn't only pleasing for us to see wildlife in gay mood but also a teaching that getting oneself involved in recreational activities is bound to produce a pleasurable experience which in turn will aid in commendable fulfillment of one’s priorities.
Nature is ruthless
Spiritual scriptures have emphasized on maintenance of balance in personal and societal spheres for achieving prosperity. But, it is nature that teaches us the extent one should go to restore the balance if it gets disturbed.
My native is a place opulent in flora and fauna but few years ago, so as we thought, the ecosystem was in peril. There was a tremendous increase in the population of monkeys, their activities and feeding frenzy resulted in large patches of dead plants, broken branches and twigs, increased numbers of disease infected trees, diminished vegetation and wildlife. To restore the balance of the ecosystem implementation of some drastic measures were the need of the hour and here I witnessed the merciless character of nature. A disease outbreak among monkeys caused their numbers to dwindle from high triple figures to merely around fifty in a matter of days. After that, it only took couple of monsoons to restore the ecosystem to its former glory.
Sometimes, in our life some decisions we take does make us go astray from the path of prosperity and when that happens, we should not refrain from taking tough decisions to get back on the path to improve the quality of life or to fulfill our dreams.
Death isn't the end
In my native place there was a banyan tree whose canopy extended wide several metres, the age of the tree, I estimated to more than one fifty years from the stories about it passed down from generations to generations in my village. My whole village, including me, had a strong bond with it as it was considered a protector of our village. It was the tree on which I learned to climb, like many even I had slept under its soothing shade, cooked food under it, took shelter under it to escape sun and rain.
Few months ago it laid down on the same ground where it had weathered sun, storms and lightnings for so many years. Soon it started losing its green tint and the wood started to rot, a wave of sadness swept over my village but the attitude of the villagers had a sense of eagerness. A month after the monsoon the eagerness was alleviated by the sight of various saplings that had sprouted on the very spot where the magnificent protector vanished in soil. We all celebrated, organised a ceremony on the sacred spot, gave offerings to the elements for the well being of the saplings.
While in the mood of celebration I realised, through the incident, nature taught me death is never the end, if anything, it is the beginning of birth, it is the foundation for existence. Like many others even I have experienced loss of my loved ones, feeling sad, grieving for their fates, but this teaching helped me overcome my grief. I found comfort in assurance that the people who passed away made the ultimate contribution for life, they didn't suffer from anything horrendous but became a seed of life which is more precious than anything that exists in the world, more beautiful than anything ever could.
In the harshest of environment nature teaches us one of the most important lessons of all. Few years back when the scorching heat of summer had scarred the landmass I was visiting to shades of yellow, red and black a weakened Saw Scaled Viper enduring the extreme conditions set me thinking. In nature there are no suicides, an organism must do everything in its capacity to live or perish trying to live and so do we, there is no quitting, we have to brave the turmoils in our life for that is what even the witless animals do in their life. We have to stay alive, we have to 'SURVIVE'.