Preface

Us modern day Americans have lost our touch from nature and have become disconnected with the natural world.  We have immersed ourselves in a lifestyle founded upon comfort and have began to destroy the natural world we originated from. As we continue to develop the world further away from its original state, the environmental issues we face today have only been becoming much worse. While many live in prosperity others struggle to survive daily. Myself and others I know are very privileged to be able to live the life we live. We can do anything we set our minds to and many do not have the ability to do the same. I can travel wherever I want on this Earth, drive to the store and buy whatever I want to eat and drink, and learn about anything that i choose. Although this era we live in is great, there are many complications an American lifestyle causes. We have polluted our planet with trash,  changed the global climate and natural cycles important to all life, and as a result caused the greatest extinction and global warming events our planet has ever experienced.

Many believe that nature is a place that we escape to from our reality as a means of a break or vacation. How I see nature is very different, I’ve realized that nature isn’t just the woods surrounding our neighborhoods and cities, nature is the neighborhood and city, nature is a part of every molecule in our universe. When looking at a city squirrel do we exclude it from the natural world as being something unnatural? No, a squirrel is wild just as much as a moose or a polar bear is. Although we have constructed our world into a place fit for humans to survive it must be known that these cities and towns are ecosystems just as much as a vast forest. Creatures of all types reside in our cities and most importantly that’s where we live! But many exclude our own species from the natural world and see us as something different. I for one do not share this perspective, we are just as wild as the animals we may see as “wild” animals. We have originated from the same planet with an equal chance for survival. The only difference is that we may think a bit different than other inhabitants of Earth.

Since our species has grown intellectually we have begun to shape the world around us in a way that makes life easier for our kind. We have learned how to construct chemicals that keep pests from our crops,  build homes that separate us from the wild creatures beyond, and almost fully disconnected ourselves with the challenge that is natural selection. But as we have changed the form of the planet for ourselves we are beginning to see problems arising from the solutions we made to better ourselves.  By poising our world with pollutants such as green house gases, and municipal solid waste; the very organisms we depend on to survive are struggling to survive; only time will tell if the struggle the natural world faces today will effect mankind in the future.

The essays and stories I have read for this class have moved me in a way that will change my perspective of the world forever. Rather than seeing myself as a being within the universe, I have begun to see the universe within myself. I have realized that there are so many things in our world we are destroying that we will never be able to get back. Our actions have caused a great deal of suffering to the native creatures of our planet. But there is no return to the primitive way of life for us humans, we have come too far. We understand our actions consequences for others that live on this planet, but yet, we do nothing. Our kind must wake up and change the ways in which we live in order to preserve the world for all, including ourselves.

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