From the moment we open our eyes for the first time and throughout life we are learning constantly. We are primarily taught and inspired by teachers in school, our parents, friends and others. The specific environment we grow up in also has an impact on who we become, some of us grew up on the countryside, some in the city, some in a village or some , somewhere completely else. Most of us go to school and learn about the world and some of us see the world with our own eyes by travelling when we get older. But with this article I would like to speak about is, for me, the greatest teacher of all; nature.
The word nature can have so many different meanings for each individual; it is really a broad concept. According to Wikipedia nature is “the natural, physical, or material world or universe. Nature can refer to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large part of science. Although humans are part of nature, human activity is often understood as a separate category from other natural phenomena.” I found it very interesting that we often define nature as something explicit, something that is outside ourselves, instead of including it in what we are. Nature is life. Nature is underneath everything humans have created, it is under the skyscrapers, concrete floors, behind the makeup and underneath our clothes. It was more obvious that we were a part of nature in past during the ancient times when had nature as our kitchen, bedroom and play yard.
We have come further away from the pure nature we once knew. It is very common today to believe that humans are smarter than nature. However, this has been acknowledged and there are many people out there who are trying to bring it back in different ways that can fit in to the modern society. To mention one of them is James Lovelock and the Gaia theory. He has created this theory based on holistic science for people to understand that we are a part of the earth and what we do on it affects it as it is a living organism just like ourselves. Gaia means Mother Earth.
When we understand that we are living on a living organism and that we are all a part of nature, an interest for taking care of it and learn more appears and maybe some open their eyes for permaculture. Permaculture observes the natural ecosystem and working with it in agriculture and social design. The design is looking at plants and animals in all their functions and does not treat anything as a single product. In permaculture you observe the nature as it is and imitate that into a design.
Reaching even further in what we can learn from nature has the new science called Biomimicry taken it to next step. It also studies nature models but uses the designs and processes to solve human problems. It’s not really technology or biology; it’s the technology of biology. The nature is the inspiration for new inventions that can create systems to solve human problems. It is very creative and can be anything from using birds as an inspiration to build air planes and build buildings in shapes similar from bugs. But the focus of the biomimicry today is to find solutions to solve the problem and fact that we are about to kill our planet. Some examples of system and solutions is to use gravity to create energy, razorblades to fix bones in the body, system for fishing industries to save all fish with eggs and only fish the ones without and system to take care of the whole coffee plant instead of just the 0.2% we used before.
More and more people are getting involved in nature, how to take more care of it and how to come closer to it. It doesn’t have to be a theory to study to be able to connect with nature. Nature is life, its everywhere! Open the door and go out there and see what YOU can learn from nature and how YOU can come closer to what is more natural. Let the nature be your greatest teacher and spread the word!