Our Readers' Opinions
March 11, 2005
The cost of naturalness

EDITOR: The Cost of Naturalness by The connection many older Vincentians feel to their homeland is rooted in early memories of country life. They reflect on days gone by when life was definitely not easy but nevertheless uncomplicated and safe. People lived lives that were more self-reliant and needs were met within the community.{{more}}

Only a matter of years ago we lived so closely to nature that it is amazing to think that there is now a generation of under 25-year-olds for whom TV culture is a reality and who seek artificial means for mental stimulation rather than an interaction with nature.

A short journey from mountain to city reveals clear subcultures within the society that are defined by the degree of closeness that they live with nature- in the mountain, the rural community, the residential areas or the suburbs, and the urban or city environment. These distinct social groups have different lifestyles and customs and separation has come about through increased materialism as the common connection with nature disappears.

The more affluent people become, the less they have to do with other social groups and this disconnection turns into insulation which in turn becomes disdain, dislike and even fear of other social groups. In this way society has broken down as our obsession with modern development destroys nature and community. Because of the separation or rather, divorce from nature we face difficult times.

In our quest for affluence, which is really a state where we allow greed to dominate and suppress our true nature, we are creating a grave situation for future generations.

Evidence from all over the world shows that to survive increasing man made and natural disasters we will have to live once again closer to nature, and utilize her sustainably. When we eventually turn to her for assistance we will find her sadly depleted through deforestation, sea and soil pollution, unbalanced ecosystems, and unable to support us. Then we will ask why did we move so far away? Why did we destroy so much? Why did we not teach our children to be environmentally conscious? Why did we turn our backs on our landscape? And our ancestors, who lived for centuries without disturbing nature’s complex intelligence, bountifully serving their communities first, will be recognized as having infinitely more wisdom than modern man.

As artist Paul Klee summed up in one sentence:” There is no need to disparage the joy of novelty; though a clear view of history should save us from desperately searching for novelty at the cost of naturalness.”

Vonnie Roudette