Nature: Best Mentor for Happy Life
It’s the end of winter, and daylight hours are increasing. One Wednesday in October last year, luckily, I got an early leave from work, and decided to stroll back home. It was long since I had the chance of looking at the afternoon sky transitioning to dusk, and there was no way I was missing it this time. Stepping onto the street, I found it busy as ever, with cars zooming and swishing past, and there was me, lazily footing my way towards home. I have this habit of looking into distances and just like that, I found beyond the wall on the opposite side of the street, a cat meowing on the branch of a not-so-high tree. I focussed my eyes onto it, and I could then see it – a squirrel in front of the cat. In my subconsciousness, it obviously hit my mind at once that the squirrel was going to be a meal today. I tried looking away, but my eyes stuck to them. And then I could see why so. They were playing. The squirrel was poking the cat’s belly with its nose and the cat was pawing it away softly, and purring to itself. Its hanging tail was swaying in pleasure! My hands prepared to open the camera of my phone (in reflex, me being a photographer), but I found a part of me stopping myself from doing so. And in that picosecond of time, within a flash you can say, I found that I had moved away from all the business of the street and the honking of buses and taxis, and was right there at that branch which currently housed the two little animals, who, unknowing of the passing time and business, were having precious time to themselves. I realised I had found what I had stepped onto the street in search of – being one with nature.
And concurrently, a separate striking realization hit me – how easy, how effortless it was to become so. How we are already one with the greater beauty of nature, and how we just needed to stop and look ahead to see her in all her glory. How that simple switch to a minimalistic zero-waste lifestyle can work wonders.
What is nature to you?
While the oxford dictionary describes it as ‘the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations’, what meaning does this word hold to you? To answer this question, we need introspection. What are we? What is our purpose on this earth? Where have we come from, and where would we go? How do we live every day? What gives us the fuel to rise every morning and strive for a living? What is our ultimate aim? Trying to solve these questions invariably requires a major helping of the ingredient ‘nature’. Try doing this for once. I bet you would find peace, that, which you have been searching for all along.
Once this realization dawns upon us that our inner self is intertwined with nature, our lives would suddenly become very easy-going. I myself have learnt this from experience. Until and unless we are able to bring this realization, we will continue drifting away from nature that we already are undergoing every day. That irritation you feel, that constant push of searching for something you desire but you don’t know what – yes, that feeling of blank questioning burn that you feel, I am talking of exactly that. This results because of drifting away from nature with the constant bombardment of man-made businesses and deadline rushes and unnatural aids to apparently make our lives smoother.
To mitigate this state of unrest, we inevitably need a lot more introspection, a lot more real ‘me time’. We need to regularize and normalize meditation and carving out time to think to oneself without disturbance. Fruitful practice of this in everyday life will bring forth more empathy and understanding among us. These two parameters in general are the major characteristics which make us humans, humans.
Humans are a biological species who are definitely animals, but are vested with the power of mutual understanding, cooperation, and semantic speech. We are not here to rule over our fellow kin species of plants and animals with our superior powers, but to serve them with our superior gifts given to us by nature herself. Serving nature, which includes not only our fellow species, but also fellow individuals of our own species, is our utmost and only great duty, and living our life dutifully gives us peace and fulfilment. Pardon me if this sounds like preaching, but today I only write what I have realized upon my twenty-six years of existence, and I type this while sitting by my work table, looking out into the open sky, full of stars and a clean, perfectly blemished beautiful moon, shining in her full glory.
The year 2020 has been an eye-opener to us in many aspects of our life. I am sure most of you have undergone this similar realization as mine, and have started taking life more thankfully and dutifully than ever before. It has taught us about the importance of every individual in our life, and each and every moment spent with them. It has taught us to spend time with ourselves more, to take care of plants and fellow animals, to adapt to a healthier, zero-waste, minimalistic and spiritual mode of life. This has resulted into us stepping out post the Covid-19 lockdown as stronger and more righteous individuals who know what should be done and what not. We today know that we can find life lessons from everything around us, even that old tree around the corner which only has a few dying leaves left on its branches, holding on to them as tightly as ever, until their last breath, even when it knows they are sure to fall off very soon, just like our parents and grandparents who knit our families together as a fierce unit, even when they know we would grow up and shift bases for work. We have grown more respectful of our ancient culture which teaches us a minimalist way of life, and giving importance to even the most minute resource of nature. Minimalism and mitigating the global climate crisis have been around for quite a few years now, via the climate activism and zero-waste stores, but this lockdown has showed us in the eye, what magic the stoppage of human business for even some months can bring about. The skies and waters are clearer, the birds and little animals are back and out of their nests and burrows and hiding places, we are friends again with the bountiful nature.
This Covid-19 lockdown has also given birth to groups like us, where like-minded individuals have come together to work for a better, sustainable world, which takes less from, and gives back to the nature. Know our story at goingzero.in, and if you want to be a part of us, we are right by you! We, just like you, have come to love and accept ourselves spiritually, and in the process, have realized nature in her full glory. This process has taught and let us use resources mindfully and righteously, and no extra effort is needed to make the switch to a better and mindful, zero-waste lifestyle.
Want a happy and fulfilling life? Start loving yourself today, and you will know you have made the switch once you have realized nature. Come, share with us your story of realization at goingzero.in.
We’ll be waiting!