Movements Can Generate Change

Noureen - SUGAR LAND, Texas
Entered on February 7, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: humanism
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Whenever we as Americans don’t like something, we create laws to amend it. When our taxes are too high, we scream to have them lowered and tax rebates are mailed. When too many accidents abound at a certain intersection, we motion the city to install streetlights. When we doubt the current president, we vote for the opposing party in elections. We as Americans are accustomed to making changes for our own good. This belief is inherent in our trust in the way that we cling to our beliefs. Therefore, I, as an American, believe in the power of movements to affect change. Because movements are a part of the democratic process, I believe this same ability to make social change can have the same impact on our natural world.

As a child, I grew up singing, “The sun…my friend…shining…get ready, up, up, up.” Every morning my mom would wake me up, and when it was sunny, we would look out my bedroom window to trace the glittering rays back to the sun. “There it is!” we would exclaim, when we had found it. The sun was like a daily blessing made especially for us.

As much as we loved the sunlight, we also appreciated the days of rain; I loved listening to the sound of rain strum on the rooftop and hit the ground with a plop. Although many other children thought of the weather as a boring phenomenon, I loved the experience of witnessing the weather daily. From my childhood onwards, my love for nature has grown.

I have grown more sophisticated in my experiences with nature. When I awake, I not only look for the sun, but I also look at the sky’s landscape and gaze into the memorizing colors that smear together like paint on a pallet.

When I feel like I am under superfluous amounts of stress, I take a stroll through my backyard then out into the neighborhood. I pound the sidewalks, for I know every sharp turn and rough slope, and I allow myself to stare in wonder at each tree I pass. My fascination with the trees soothes my stress level, calming me. Not only does nature affect me, but it also affects all of society.

Consider fluxes in the weather as a philosophical movement, physically and symbolically; it initiates feelings and change. The sun rises, caresses the barren land and flows between tree trunks. Every leaf of grass that was once touched by dew is dried and smoothed. The sun’s rays touch masses of land, impacting vast areas. Functionally, the sun moves across frontiers, breaking down any pre-constructed boundaries, and each person who watches the sun come up interprets it differently: some with exuberance others with not so much. Many times people take nature for granted and do not notice the sun rising, setting, and providing us a new, bright day, a day that is open to opportunities and a new outlook. They do not look to the forests as divine enchantments. They do not look to fields of sunflowers to admire the beauty. They do not look at the spiral of leaves on a vine and notice the golden ratio that continues to fascinate mathematicians.

These people who do not take time to appreciate and know about nature are the ones who destroy it for all of us. These are the same people who in their shallow state of mind, vacuously demolished Indonesia’s Peatland forests simply for palm oil. To these people, the environment is valued in terms of the resources that it provides. This form of ruthless industrialization is what destroys the essential splendor that the environment grants to human experience. Today, industrialization is ubiquitous, impacting everything it touches like King Midas and his gold touch. However, like the gold touch, the touch of industrialization is detrimental. The presence of carbon emissions grows higher by the passing day, spewing into the atmosphere daily because of increasing industrial greed. Our current climate cannot afford this greed; the impact has already begun, and the natural evolutionary process cannot keep up.

Natives Americans believe that “humans are vulnerable and rely on the kindnesses of the earth and the sun; we exist together in a sacred field of meaning.” People and nature coexist, and both humanity and nature give each other meaning and feeling. When a naturalist feels warmth or sunlight, feelings of awe and wonderment are evoked.

However, these feelings are not shared by everyone; this ignorance has led to destruction. Rapid development has led to further deterioration of the environment. The same nature that provides food to the world, the same that provides homes for all species, and the same that inspires artists and poets alike is being exploited by people’s ignorance, ignorance that must be annihilated. We who feel pleasure by experiencing nature can act upon nature’s destruction from industrialization and stop it. Global warming is prevalent throughout the world, and it is our job to make an effort to slow it down.

I believe in the power of humanity. I believe that the human race collectively has the power of god. I believe that the coming together as large masses and becoming unified can make a difference. Eliminating previous quarrels on environmental issues will lead to an impact. The human race has a power like no other; it is different from all else in the world because it possesses the intelligence and consciousness that nothing else has; therefore, the human race is responsible for its actions and the impact it creates on its surroundings.

Humans are responsible for the collateral damage caused on earth and, therefore, must take action. Humans have to correct the damage they have created. They have to come together, create a movement, and save nature and earth.