Earth as we know it is an incredibly complex and fragile network of The ability of humans to manipulate the landscape and recognize the. By creating humanity in His image and declaring that they shall “fill the earth and master it”, God explicitly places the natural world under the. earth. I know, of course, that many human interventions into nature have been de - structive; history .. mean a relationship of mutualism so in-.
Mother Earth Symbols and depictions of Earth as a nurturer have been long present in human societies.
- Our Role and Relationship With Nature
- The Human–Nature Relationship and Its Impact on Health: A Critical Review
For example, the Yggdrasil tree from Germanic mythology connects different parts of the world, and is revered by the gods themselves as a source of holiness and a symbol of life and power.
In that same mythology, it is from two trees that mankind has been created, from the raw fabric of nature.
The Christian Bible holds the creation of our species in the clay, an element born from the soil itself. The Yggdrasil tree, from Germanic mythology, connects different parts of the world and is revered by the gods themselves as a source of holiness and a symbol of life and power. Various peoples long to return to her, to her embrace, and bury their bodies in her, tying their souls with her mercy.
Indeed, with such a focus on giving life and providing for us, no wonder that across many cultures, fertility deities are goddesses sharing a deep affinity with the Earth. They are portrayed as mothers, answering the prayers of their offspring. He compared Earth to the mother, on a symbolic level. Just like the mother, it is the first object of attachment that we encounter in the objective world. Earth holds us like a mother, it nurtures us like a mother does, providing food, chemicals, wood, and answering our every need in a seemingly omnipotent way, akin to the vision an infant has of its all-powerful mother until it has grown enough to fend for itself.
The similarity comes from the feeling of abandonment from the loss of a familiar, known, secure, gratifying object. This guilt actually allows us to mature enough and form a psyche that can both withstand frustration and develop an ability to feel remorse. Are we moved enough by the plight of the planet to question ourselves, deal with depression and make amends at the same time?
In practice, it is often very apparent in adults how many of their everyday actions have a source in their early interactions with their mothers. In regards to Earth, this is something that is quite apparent too: One main question remains though: Culture as a mediator Since the times of the ancient Egyptians, and even before, culture and its practice were a means to give hope to humankind by reassuring us about death, the separation from life and its benevolent sources, through rituals and rites.
As such, the human—nature relationship goes beyond the extent to which an individual believes or feels they are part of nature. It can also be understood as, and inclusive of, our adaptive synergy with nature as well as our longstanding actions and experiences that connect us to nature. Over time, as research and scientific knowledge progresses, it is anticipated that this definition of the human—nature relationship will adapt, featuring the addition of other emerging research fields and avenues.
It is, however, beyond the scope of this paper to review the many ways these concepts have been previously explored 84 — Since then, this shift has seen a major growth in the last 30 years, primarily in areas of positive health and psychology 88 — Despite its broad perspective of human health, the definition has also encountered criticism in relation to its description and its overall reflectance of modern society.
Similarly, others have highlighted the need to distinguish health from happiness 84 or its inability to fully reflect modern transformations in knowledge and development e. As such, there have been calls to reconceptualize this definition, to ensure further clarity and relevance for our adaptive societies Broadly, health has been measured through two theoretical approaches; subjective and objective First, physical health is defined as a healthy organism capable of maintaining physiological fitness through protective or adaptive responses during changing circumstances While it centers on health-related behaviors and fitness including lifestyle and dietary choicesphysiological fitness is considered one of the most important health markers thought to be an integral measure of most bodily functions involved in the performance of daily physical exercise These can be measured through various means, with examples including questionnaires, behavioral observations, motion sensors, and physiological markers e.
Second, mental health is often regarded as a broad concept to define, encapsulating both mental illness and well-being.
Humanity's Attachment to Mother Earth - Our World
It can be characterized as the positive state of well-being and the capacity of a person to cope with life stresses as well as contribute to community engagement activities 83 It has the ability to both determine as well as be determined by a host of multifaceted health and social factors being inextricably linked to overall health, inclusive of diet, exercise, and environmental conditions.
As a result, there are no single definitive indicators used to capture its overall measurement. This owes in part to the breadth of methods and tends to represent hedonic e. Third, social health can be generalized as the ability to lead life with some degree of independence and participate in social activities Indicators of the concept revolve around social relationships, social cohesion, and participation in community activities. Further, such mechanisms are closely linked to improving physical and mental well-being as well as forming constructs, which underline social capital.
Owing to its complexity, its measurement focuses on strengths of primary networks or relationships e. Current Knowledge on the Human—Nature Relationship and Health This section summarizes existing theoretical and literature research at the intersection of the human—nature relationship and health, as defined in this review.
As society evolved, populations grew and more and more resources were required to fuel the expansion. With breakthroughs in agriculture, settlements became more permanent and cities began to take shape.
This shift to city life inadvertently led to a distancing from nature. While many people were still in-tune with nature on a subsistent level, the need for more and more resources began to change our regard for nature. Although our distancing from nature began several thousand years ago with advancements in agriculture and social order, it is the age of industry to which we owe our modern regard for nature. The growth of cities allowed for a separation between people and nature and our obsession with convenience and efficiency beckoned a new perspective on the environment.
With technological advancements, nature became something we were no longer apart of and entirely subject to, but something that we could control and profit off of. The growth of industry enabled humans to truly dominate the landscape and disrupt the natural systems that have been in place for billions of years.
As we have removed ourselves further and further from nature, we have developed a willing ignorance of our role and relationship within it. With the growth of cities and trade we have moved from a subsistent, sustainable economy to one of greed and exploitation. Humans have always had an impact on the environment, but with the age of industry that impact has been ultra-magnified.
The Human–Nature Relationship and Its Impact on Health: A Critical Review
Population growth has been exponentiated, cities have become the primary place of residence, and the majority of the world is now out of touch with the workings of nature. Although every species plays a unique role in the biosphere and inherently has its own impact, not every species has the cognitive ability to measure their influence or the capacity to change it.
Humans are unique in that respect, which is the root of the problem. We know we are crippling the environment.
We have the ability to do something about it.
Therefore, we should make change where change is necessary. Economy The size of our population and its incessant desire to expand has an obvious impact on the environment.
Humanity’s Attachment to Mother Earth
However, that impact is magnified with the demands of industry and capitalism. In his book, Regarding Nature, Andrew McLaughlin identifies industrialism and the capitalist mindset as being especially influential on our regard for nature: Further causing a perceived division from nature is the economic structure we have allowed to infect most of the world.
Our relationship with nature has now become purely economic. We do not associate ourselves as a part of nature because we use it for profit.
Forests are cut down for the profits of the lumber industry and to make room for livestock. Animals that we are undoubtedly related to, that have senses and the ability to socialize are slaughtered by the billions to feed an increasingly carnivorous population. Resources such as oil and food are all unevenly distributed throughout the world and therefore used as a platform for profit.
All the while the environment bears the grunt of our greed. In order to reconstruct our views of nature and understand our place within it, it is important to reconsider our relationship with each other and our surroundings. We have to consider ourselves as part of a bigger picture. Industry and capitalism rely heavily on ignorance and individualism.