A species can only thrive if its strategies are tuned to the conditions it’s in–and if it’s in beneficial relationships with others. Humans have co-existed as a species on this planet for over 200,000 years as Homo sapiens sapiens. In that time, there have been many disturbances, challenges, and tensions between and amongst us. Somehow, we have eventually learned that we are always better together than alone.
And through it all, we always asked nature for help.
Most of humanity has lost a vital connection with the natural world – a connection that, from our species’ origins until recently, informed and sustained our participation in nature. The scientific and industrial revolutions brought us almost miraculous technological progress and solved many problems, but they also propagated a mindset where progress meant substituting the old with the new. We came to favor widely-applicable technological solutions over place-based bio-cultural wisdom, and to value short-term gratification over the art of the long view. Eventually we came to think of ourselves and of culture as being somehow separate from or even independent of nature.
In a world filled with not even 15 minutes, but perhaps the elusive promise of 15-seconds-of-fame, coupled with ever shortening attention spans, it’s more important now than ever to slow our minds down for a moment, pause, and appreciate not how information is provided, but that wisdom is imparted in many beautifully diverse and fantastical ways.