Door Number Ten: Connecting with Nature

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” ~Aristotle

In today’s busy society it is so easy to go an entire day spent entirely indoors. In fact, many of us spend the majority of our life either in an office building, commuting to and from work, or sitting in front of a computer or other electronic devices (And lest you wonder,  yes I understand the meaning of irony). While it is probably not advisable to quit our jobs and move into the wilderness, there is real value in making a conscious effort to take some time each week to appreciate the beauty of the great outdoors. In fact, unlocking this door is vital to a complete life for a number of reasons.

By spending time enjoying nature we are able to gain a brief respite from the busyness of every day life. There are literally thousands of things vying for our attention on a daily basis. The important deadline at work. The television show we can’t miss. And that’s just the stuff we choose to be distracted by. Add in the countless advertisements and other background noise society bombards us with and it takes a miracle to even get a moment of peace and quiet. However, by taking simple steps, like taking a stroll through a park or taking a weekend off to go camping we are able to escape from this echo chamber of activity. So while we may not be able to completely leave it all behind and escape to a deserted swamp-planet like some modern-day Yoda, it’s always a good idea to escape the monotony of life. If only for a second.

Nature allows us a direct link to past generations. Many of the prominent features of mother nature have been around for hundreds of years. In fact, there are trees that have been around longer than most of modern society. While the technologies and structure of our institutions are constantly changing, many of the world’s natural wonders are similar to how they appeared hundreds of years ago. By being in the presence of these ancient features we are able to share in the experiences of countless generations that have come before. Something that gives us a larger perspective on the world in which we live.

By experiencing nature we better understand the need to preserve it. When one looks out at the clean, pristine waters of a lake at sunset its hard to imagine doing anything to ruin that image. However, so often we lose sight of such beauty in the pursuit of modern convenience and financial gain. When we fail to take in these sites it becomes even easier to support policies and engage in activities that are detrimental to the very nature we should be taking steps to preserve. By reminding ourselves of the inspirational landscapes the world has to offer, we are motivated to work towards preserving the world we live in before we end up in outer space drinking our meals in shake form oblivious to grandeur of the planet we left behind.

While most days it might seem like more trouble than its worth (especially for those living in the city), it is important to take time to appreciate the beauty of nature. Not only does it allow us to slow down and gain a better perspective on things, it also raises and awareness of the importance of keeping the environment in tact for future generations. Whether it be a simple walk or bike ride down by the river or a week-long excursion into the wild, finding some type of connection to nature is a door we should all take a moment to open from time to time.

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