Defining Nature

Defining Nature

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"A little mist hangs above the pond, which is still save for a single mallard paddling slowly back and forth. From time to time it dives–sticks its rump in the air. From time to time it climbs out on a rock and airs its wings in the breeze, which is visible now and again on the surface of the pond. I watched for about an hour, and mostly the duck just swam back and forth, back and forth, back and forth."

Defining nature comes only from a personal experience, a description of the emotional effect you feel. Nature is a part of the world we can enjoy, not because of the changing times, but because it's in real form. Although, it's very difficult to define nature, you have to fully understand the relationship between present-day technology and nature by experiencing the outdoors one-on-one. Even if you walk out into your backyard, take a deep breathe, and soak up the free air; you still get a rush of excitement and energy. The feeling received from nature should be personal, sitting on a park bench alone in the park listening the ducks flap around is a personal experience. In the Age of Missing Information, Bill McKibben helps us realize what we are missing. When he talks about nature he never exaggerates, he doesn't throw out a catchy slogan to grab our attention. He simply speaks of nature in its purest form. Nature is a feeling, an emotion shared personally; however, there are many changes that begin to strip us of what we know as our lush environment.
One of this many changes that have occurred over time is media. Media has played a
great amount into what we know as the age of missing information. Television, for example, has become the largest media monster to rely certain types of information. The media itself has little to do with nature, even though shows of nature on television take us to many exotic areas, it cannot comprehend nature in its true form. McKibben speaks about the media having a repetition, the same type of programs are played continuously all day long. Whether it be a sitcom, game show, or even a nature documentary, it is all designed to grab your attention and hold on tight. On the other hand, repetition is entirely different everyday in nature.

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You might see the same bird fly by over and over again the same day, but that animal is doing something different each time. The media today only shares bits and pieces of what is actually out there around us. When the world becomes more dependent upon one form of information, everything else is pushed aside and begins to be forgotten. People use the information received by television, radio, and other forms of media to get their own fix of nature; but really you need to take in nature as a whole, as a feeling.
I feel Bill Mckibben would have the same argument with today's technology as he did over a decade ago. For instance, the internet has taken away a lot of what people need to experience first hand. Nature in its true form cannot be viewed via internet, the same effect isn't there. Sure the internet is useful in other ways such as research or checking the score of last night's game, but we have to understand by doing this we are straying away from the useful information directly around us everyday. I'm not saying we should abandon our homes and begin living in the woods, but perhaps just take a break and discover the vast world and beauty nature brings. Other technologies, for instance, the iPod or other forms of compact music media help block the sounds of nature. The birds singing in the morning, the frogs croaking in a nearby pond, the cycles of nature that which we should pay more attention.
In addition, to have the technologies we have today we are destroying more land to gain senseless forms of media. It's hard to realize the destruction of nature first hand because Drury University has preserved out beautiful land and encouraged the growth of nature; however, nature is slowly being knocked out and we are the ones tearing it down. It might seem like we couldn't possibly completely wipe everything out, but the truth is closer than we realize. The media pushes us away from everything natural. So next time your watching your favorite soap opera or jamming to your favorite tunes, stop and think of where all that media came from and take a little time out of your day to suck in a bit of nature's goodness.
Defining nature comes only from a personal experience, a description of the emotional effect you feel. Nature is not received from any form of media, only by personal experience can we fully gain anything from nature. Nature is always in purest form, always ready to take in. The Age of Missing Information helps us realize, not what we're missing, but what are dodging. McKibben gives great insight on what people are viewing today and what is out there that we are missing. Changes such as preservation, less media, and a good amount of nature personally can help end this age of missing information.
"And on the pond, the duck is just swimming back and forth, his chest pushing out a wedge of ripples that catch the early rays of the sun."
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