Good Nature Principle References Essay Example
Personal values on nature can vary immensely from person to person. For the purpose of this assignment three individuals were interviewed. One female aged 19, one female aged 28, and one male aged 62 all living in the same region of the United States, a place that experiences four seasons a year. The following provides an outline of each interview, a summarization of the similarities and differences between each interview, and theories behind the reasons for the similarities and differences.
The first interviewee is a nineteen-year old female college student. Overall, she really enjoys nature, however due to time constraints because of studying and working she cannot be outside as much as she would like. She is able to spend the most time in nature during the summer months when she appreciates walking around lakes and river trails. She would really like to start taking up some more active nature activities such as mountain hiking and kayaking. However she faces some restrictions due to inclement weather during some seasons in her area. Her perception of nature is that it is peaceful, remote, and relaxing. It is neither cluttered nor disturbed. On the other hand she can sometimes find nature to be difficult and or hard to navigate through. She strongly believes that keeping nature a part of one’s life is very important. It can be used as a means to ground yourself, and an investment in another activity rather than social media or television. Being out in nature can also be extremely helpful to one’s physical health. She uses nature as an escape from the mundane routines and stresses of everyday life. It leaves her feeling disconnected, in a positive way. It clears her mind.
The second interviewee is a twenty eight-year old female who works part-time as a teacher. She gets out in nature as much as possible. During the summer she loves to go to the beach and enjoys swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and just laying in the sun. During Spring and Fall she loves to hike and go on nature walks. She is mostly drawn to water. During Winter she tries be outside as much as possible and does enjoy skiing, however time and money are some restrictions. She would love to do some more adventuresome activities; more diving, more advanced hiking, long camping trips. Her primary restrictions are time, money, and sometimes weather. She perceives nature to be anything natural, not man made. Nature can be found anywhere if you look hard enough, it is a force much more powerful than anything man has created. Nature has been incredibly important in her life. Being in nature has brought her great joy in many different ways. In simply just enjoying being outside in fresh air, taking a moment to appreciate what is around her. She has made many friends through the activities she enjoys outside and values the time she has spent on nature walks with her parents. In times of sadness or loneliness she finds great comfort in either looking up at the stars or gazing out at the ocean and is filled with a sense of calm. Nature provides a very real reminder that she is just a very, very small piece of an infinite picture and somehow that provides great peace to her.
The third interviewee is a sixty two-year old male who works full time in an office. He tries to be out in nature as much as possible. He believes he is pretty fit for his age and loves to talk nature walks with his wife and kids, as long as there is a bench along the way to rest. He loves playing tennis outside in Spring as well. He also enjoys swimming and walking on the beach in the summer Work obligations and very cold weather are the two biggest factors for him not spending more time in nature. He believes that nature is all around us and can be enjoyed in free time. Nature exists and is beautiful but as he has gotten older he has begun to enjoy his creature comforts of indoor living more and more. He admits that he feels energized and healthy after going for a nice walk outside, attributing some of his good feeling to being outside in the fresh air but mostly to the “benefits of exercise.” Overall he enjoys nature and appreciates it, but it is not a focal point of his life.
Summary and Speculation
There were some definitive similarities and differences among the three interviewees. All three claimed to enjoy taking walks in nature and feeling a certain sense of euphoria after spending some time outdoors. They all believed that nature is certainly beautiful and must be respected by humans. This, however, is where the differences arose.
The two younger interviewees both believed that people have more of an obligation to take care of the natural world around them than the sixty two-year old did. This difference I believe comes from a great effort in education in the past couple of decades about the importance of caring for Earth. The two younger interviewees also expressed a much greater interest in exploring more activities outside than the older interviewee did. I believe that this is attributed to two factors. First, again in education, there has been a great emphasis placed on the importance of physical education and exercise as childhood obesity rates began to skyrocket in this country. With the increase in technology, it became more and more apparent that time needed to be specifically allotted to outdoor activities. A phenomenon that was unknown to the older interviewee, as he only ever knew playtime to be outside time. A second factor that is actually linked to the first is the rise in outdoor and adventure trips, camps, and activities now available. Economics does play a role here as the rise in middle class wealth in America provided more time for leisure and for more money to be spent on leisure activities. Capitalist America wasted no time in coming up with ways for people to spend money on outdoor adventure activities. Adventure travel tour companies and packages were created with the wild and young in mind. The invention of action cameras and other pieces of technology only further encourages the young to explore a more action packed nature, while the older generations are content with simply taking a walk outside with a loved one.
Nature Principle contains many ideas that support the ideas that my interviewees had. For example, as early on as in the introduction it was mentioned that people realize that nature is all around them, they are living as part it. “But we are reminded daily that it also occurs where we already live- and even within the densest cities, where the urban wild still exists in the most unexpected places. It can be restored and even created where we live, work, and play,” (Louv 4). The Nature Principle suggests that, in an age of rapid environmental, economic, and social transformation, the future will belong to the nature-smart- those individuals, families, businesses, and political leaders who develop a deeper understanding of nature, and who balance the virtual with the real,” (Louv 6). This point reflects something that the nineteen year-old specifically alluded to, that nature was an escape from social media and technology. As we further and further develop ourselves, it will become an increasingly important skill to balance our virtual lives with our natural ones.
One other interesting point comes from chapter 11. “There was a time when developing a spiritual, psychological, physical attachment to place came naturally; today, awareness of our surroundings and our role in this larger life must be developed purposefully, not only by each of us, but by government and business,” (Louv 122). This quote reflects the idea that we must consciously separate ourselves from our virtual world and appreciate actually existing in the real one. When outside in nature, it is important to take a moment to just enjoy being in that moment. Forget about a taking a picture to upload to some social media site, or tagging your location, or whatever else may seem of vital importance. Technology we have created has made it increasingly easy and attractive to exist in virtual worlds. It is now our responsibility to not forget about the real world.
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