Humans (Ru)in Nature | Teen Ink

Humans (Ru)in Nature

October 10, 2019
By adambraun88 BRONZE, Hartland, Wisconsin
adambraun88 BRONZE, Hartland, Wisconsin
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

It’s commonplace for humans to expect more. They expect more work to be done… more to discover, conquer, and gain. It’s never enough. Whether or not they have benevolent intentions, the worst seems to come from their actions. Throughout my high school history career, I have ridiculed the decision-making of past leaders. I wonder why and how they let the world deteriorate. They claim they made it better. And yet. From ancient civilizations that domesticated the first animals, to Hilter’s regime, to the Civil Rights Movement, our species is ever evolving. We are evolving in our creativity and innovation, but we have remained the same in our outlook. Our nature is not changing, but we are changing the nature around us. 

It is in our genetic code to be competitive. From the period of exploration, to the founding of the Olympics, humans have grown accustomed to constant competition. To win. Whether taking land or winning an Olympic medal, I sit in awe at the thought. Why? Because that's what I mentally trained myself to want. I am trained to win. Just like everybody else. But very few achieve the thrill of winning. Most overlook their actions for the rush. For the prize. Meanwhile, the damage to the human species because our ignorance is momentous. Our constant desire to be the best has led us down a path of eating disorders, mental pressure, disease, and fighting beyond government control. Our competitive drive has propelled us to comparison. And comparison is the downfall of our species. 

Humans have a problem coming to terms with their actions. Normally, when you’re a kid, your parents tell you to take responsibility for your actions. Unfortunately, adults need to take note on that subject along with their kids. My parents have never been too concerned about nature. In their own right, they are hard working and try to balance their day to day lives. Needless to say, it’s hard to keep up with rising standards of natural preservation when you work a 9-6 job and have to provide everything for your family. There just aren’t enough hours in a day. This is where the contemporary problem arises. Nowadays, almost everybody is working all day long and coming home to feed their children. They playback this lifestyle on repeat. So what if they package their groceries in plastic bags or if they drink from a plastic straw? But that is where the problem stems from. We overlook the smaller aspects of our lives because the big parts take up our time. Because of our incompetence, we let our oceans swell with plastic. We let our forests burn to the ground. The worst part is, there isn’t much being done about it. To the celebrities and corporations posting about helping nature, please reconsider ridiculing the working class until you look at how much gas your private jet uses. And for the ocean filled with plastic? We will raise awareness and encourage people to ‘buy our metal straws!’ As humans we are hardwired to care only when deemed necessary. But when we finally come to terms with aiding the environment, it becomes too late to save it. And we still don’t accept that responsibility. 

Humans radiate a high pride and self esteem that eradicates nature. Our egos overcome us. And that ego is what drives us to change nature. Last week, I was watching videos on Instagram that consisted of inspirational TED Talks and motivational speeches (something I normally don’t do). One of these videos talked about our ego, and I began relating it to my own life. By Google’s standards, ego is “a person's sense of self-esteem or self-importance”. Now not to hate on Google (which helps me with most of my homework) but ego is underplayed. All the media reports on is celebrities’ ego or the President’s ego. They report on how bad people’s ego is. And truth be told, they are right. People gain a sense of self-importance. A self importance they hold above everything else. I admit I fall susceptible to it too. I have a huge ego. Everyone who knows me, knows it’s true. In the last couple weeks, one of my best friends was hiding from me that she was upset about my big ego. When I confronted her about ignoring me, she told me I think I am better than everyone and everything and hold myself on a pedestal compared to everything I’m surrounded with. Truth be told, she was right. But as I looked at myself subconsciously, I realized this is a basic human trait. And it has to stop. 

In AP U.S. History this year, my teacher made my class watch a video about the Salem Witch Trials. Afterwards, we asked why she made us watch it. She told us that history is repeating itself and that people need to learn from their past mistakes. Our mistakes are arbitrarily ruining nature around us as a result of our ignorance. We are living our lives worsening the environment around us. And yet, we still want more. I question whether or not we are truly evolving. Or rather is it human nature?

The author's comments:

I think this project really spoke volumes to our group, as well as the people who read it. The essay made us reflect more on our values and how we interact with nature: and how we can do more to help preserve it. I know that I took a step back and realized that I have never been an advocate for nature, but I am leaving a detrimental impact on nature. I found love, peace, and joy in the nature around me. And now, I don’t want to be an accomplice to its downfall.

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