In contemporary society, we seem to be learning from teachers in school, our mentors in the workplace and our friends in our social lives. But from nature? Few of us ever feel that there is something to learn from the trees and the plants (except the lovers of nature, nature photographers, botanists and the likes), not to mention the fact that there is a need to.
But more often than not, nature is our best teacher.
Consider the element of water. It can fill up the space and shape of any containers. This is primary school science. But how many of us ever think of translating this ability to being adaptable? Water can exist in three forms: solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (water vapour). How many of us have considered this concept as a form of re-adjustment and have used this to good measure in businesses in terms of creating/innovating new products and/or services to create new demand from existing/potential clients? Water flows from a high level to the lowlands, which follows the universal law of gravity, which is in tune with businesses going along with the flow of current demand and supply. Water is pure in nature, which teaches one to be moral in conduct and fair in one’s business dealings with others. Water can be purified, which means that correcting our mistakes is possible. All these examples only serve to relate to one element of the universe- water. Imagine how many lessons and insights can be drawn from nature.
For individuals residing in urban areas, it will be good to trek through nature and enjoy the chirping of the birds or taking a slow walk along the beach, feeling the cooling sea breezes on one’s face. Nothing is more comforting than being one with nature. It might even be a good idea to grow some plants at home or even have a bonsai on the office table. It’s not merely the lessons that the workings of nature has taught us about life but more than that, our constant presence with nature has a calming and soothing effect on our lives. This probably explains why there are some individuals who like to place photographs of nature (such as beaches, resorts, rainbows etc) on the clipboard in their workplaces. The rationale behind this is that we need not be in nature to enjoy the benefits that it can provide us. We merely need to imagine that we are immersed in the world of nature to reap similar benefits.
It is not unreasonable to posit the theory that every lesson that we can learn or have learnt from life lies in nature itself, considering the fact that nature has provided us with all the essential materials for our physiological needs: sunlight, air and food. Thus, the campaign of consuming more fruits and vegetables may be logical from a psychological perspective- based on the argument that science has proven that fruits and vegetables contains numerous proteins, vitamins and minerals for our needs. Nature has our best interests at heart to ensure our survival and we should – in turn – be kind enough to return the gesture.
But how do we return favours to nature?
By conserving the environment. Prevent land, air and water pollution. Remove the threat of global warming. Refrain from deforestation. Use more recyclable materials. Reduce meat consumption. Embrace nature and love it for what it is.
This is the greatest lesson that nature has taught us: gratitude.