The Importance Of Nature By Ralph Waldo Emerson's Nature?

958 Words4 Pages
Humans have lived on this mass of water and land that we call earth for just over 200,000 years. That number is miniscule compared to how old our Earth is: 4.5 billion years old, 225 times the length that our species has been around. But even in that small amount of time, we have been able to inflict an astounding amount of damage to all the living things around us, whether they be as ancient as the ground we walk on and seas we swim in, or as new as that species that are evolving day after day. It is hard to really comprehend how our species, relatively small and limber, could cause so much destruction. Whole forests have been cut down, thousands of animals have gone extinct, and even more have been killed in mass numbers due to the pesticides…show more content…
In the essay Emerson spends a whole chapter focused primarily on the beauty of nature and how it has the power to “satisfy by its loveliness , without any mixture of corporeal benefiet” (Emerson). For most people it is easy to recall moments like the one Emerson describes; moments where looking out to the sea, down into the mountains, or up at the stars, results in one becoming speechless. Nature alone has the power to captivate us and make us feel this way, whether it be as grandeur as seeing magnificent horizons, or as miniscule as witnessing a flower peek up from the sidewalk cracks in a city. Nature alone has the power to allow us to “get away from it all”, and should therefore be revered for being able to do so. The least we can do for the environment is enjoy its beauty every once in a while. Not only should we be able to enjoy nature's innocent beauty however, we should be able to enjoy it without feeling guilty. This becomes an ever-challenging task with the growing amounts of condos, parking lots, and garbage that obstruct our views of nature filling us “with more trepedition then peace” (Joy). Thus, it is our responsibility to Nature, to keep it beautiful and rever places where nature is kept in its original untouched…show more content…
Unfortunately, however not only do we rely on our environment for nourishment, but we take it for granted, despite the fact that “nature is the ministry of men”, tailored to our every need (Emerson). The ground provides a place to walk and sleep, the trees a source of shelter, and lakes sources of water. How do humans respond to this benevolence? With greed and insolence. Author Joy Williams, describes it accurately when explaining how humans just “want and want and want and want”, consumed with the need for “vanities and a quest of self-fulfillment”. Despite being aggressive in her tone, Williams has a point. Even society tells us to keep working harder and never be satisfied, and through this mentality our species has built massive cities and developed unthought of technologies. What is ignored, however, is the person forced to deal with the repercussions of these wants and vanities; Mother Nature. Releasing the billions, yes billions, tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, is slowly suffocating her, whereas, putting pesticides on our crops to increase their yield is poisoning her and killing ingenious bugs in the process. Making the situation even worse, furthermore, is the fact that all of the pain and damage we have forced onto nature is avoidable. One example, highlighted by Williams in her essay, delves into the life of shrimpers. For every pound of
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