Appreciation of our planet and our “nature” has been around since the first caveman watched a “shooting star” pass along the heavens. For every one person that feels a close link to nature, the wildlife, the countryside; there is always a contradictory group of people who think of nature as a resource to plunder, destroy, abuse and show only ambivalence to preserving its habitat.
In the 1850s, it is apparent Thoreau witnessed the same behavior. As a writer, philosopher and student of nature, as well as, an observer of man’s conduct, he was often puzzled what he considered “right” as opposed to popular beliefs. Please read what Thoreau thought about:
“When I consider that the nobler animal have been exterminated here – the cougar, the panther, lynx, wolverine, wolf, bear, moose, dear, the beaver, the turkey and so forth and so forth, I cannot but feel as if I lived in a tamed and, as it were, emasculated country… Is it not a maimed and imperfect nature I am conversing with? As if I were to study a tribe of Indians that had lost all it’s warriors…I take infinite pains to know all the phenomena of the spring, for instance, thinking that I have here the entire poem, and then, to my chagrin, I hear that it is but an imperfect copy that I possess and have read, that my ancestors have torn out many of the first leaves and grandest passages, and mutilated it in many places. I should not like to think that some demigod had come before me and picked out some of the best of the stars. I wish to know an entire heaven and an entire earth.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
Obviously, those old patterns are still in conflict with the “right thing to do”. A contemporary made this observation:
“We are living on the planet as if we have another one to go to.” ~ Terry Swearingen
Perhaps lessons about nature will be more focused when temperament, knowledge and direct costs to the public are more openly identified and discussed throughout the media world we live in? Is it truly ignorance, or is it apathy, or is it lack of understanding? In any case, unless we learn from our experiences, improve our environment and make prudent shifts to live within the means of our resources, then, perhaps we will have to find another planet to live.
- Henry David Thoreau: 12 quotes on his birthday (csmonitor.com)
- “It is pleasant to have been to a place the way a river went.” – Henry David Thoreau http://t.co/tDji2xCS (tpr2.wordpress.com)
- Henry David Thoreau’s 150th death anniversary marked (bostonherald.com)
- Henry David Thoreau on Defining Your Own Success (theatlantic.com)