Enemy or Friend?


In my earliest years I learned of humankind’s war against a violent, threatening, fearsome Nature into which we had been placed for punishment. I grew up with that notion pounded into my brain. I learned new forms of it that grew tangling roots that infected all else with bindings from which poison seeped. As I aged in the world on my own, I observed how humankind manicured our habitats and raised roofed walls where we could hide from Nature’s aggressive forces, and from each other. I later saw that, without the storms, the soil grew parched beneath my feet and plants and animals died of thirst and then starvation. I learned to see how winters heightened all appreciation for Spring, that torment of Summer’s heat gave reason to look forward to dazzling leaves dancing in cool autumn breezes. When life felt sometimes good, I learned that I could remember the circumstances wherein that occurred, and that Nature had provided a brain I could use as a tool or as a destructive weapon and the choice of usage. As a tool, it enables modification of my circumstances to design my environment to fit my needs, to perceive how nurture is a requirement shared by humankind and Nature, and to see how applying that awareness optimizes the joy to be found in living. The pleasures life can provide us are rewards to be earned, not stolen treasures for which to feel guilt. Nature, the source of all goodness and badness, allows us to choose what we will make of it.

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