What is Important?

When talking about what is important, people give all kinds of answers, fame, fortune, education, family, freedom, careers, economy, religion, capitalism, money, sex, drugs and hundreds of other things...But The question to be addressed here is what really is important? The question is begging for an answer. In order to be universally important something would have to effect all those concerned. Therefore we must eliminate all that is personal, or selfish, endeavors and wants. . What does that leave? What it leaves is those things that are necessary, the needs as opposed to the wants. We also must decide who and what constitutes those who are concerned... For these purposes I summit that the plants and animals are as concerned as mankind...
Common belief is that people need food clothing and shelter. I summit that food and water and air are our only real needs. There are many places where one could survive without shelter or clothes.

But in truth we are always sheltered. From what? From the cold vast emptiness and vacuum of outer space, this shelter comes not from hard work or stone or wood or concrete but from the mother earth. The earth must be the most important thing in all our existences. Her atmosphere shields us from the cold and gives us the air we need to survive. She provides us with water, and her body produces the plants and animals we need for our food. But we can take earth for granted after all it couldn't possibly end? Even though we certainly have the knowledge to destroy it, the earth will probably be here long after the human race is gone.
Does the earth provide us with the air we breathe? There are many complex actions in our atmosphere, they produce winds, rain, snow as well as hurricanes, twisters and violent lighting storms. Yet earth provided us with protection from all these events as well.

Once upon a time, The main shelter on earth was the trees, we and our animal companions here could climb the trees during floods or to get away from certain predators. The shelter from their canopy protected us from the scorching sun the winds even the rains. They tell you not to take shelter under a tree when there is a storm, because a single tree being the highest object attracts the lightning to it. But that is because it is a single tree. In a forest or jungle the tree tops are basically the same height and lightning will just go where it goes (which is true anyway) . If you stand in a clearing you become the tallest object... Hold up your golf club and you are an instant BBQ

The earth is very much alive, the trees are like our hair, the plants below like our skin. The soil is the body which needs the protection from the sun wind and rain. The trees and plants are also the lungs of the planet. They actually cleanse the air as they suck it in they remove dust and pollutants. (as do we) Their roots hold the soil together like our muscles hold us together. They provide homes for many birds and animals, as well as insects. They even supply us with our homes still and give their lives to do it...

The other day I was driving to the country, so that I could commune with nature... I wondered as I drove "Why am I going out to the woods to hike on the hottest day of the year" But along the way I noticed just how important trees really are... I drove by miles of perfectly trimmed dusty brown lawns and golden fields of grain to reach a trail in the mountains. As I walked through the woods I noticed, that it felt ten degrees cooler than town. The air was cool, clear and moist, the sparse grasses were tall and green. The birds and chipmunks played and chatterd , a deer grazed.
Then I drove back to "town". I could only see a dust bowl of a dessert , no life just the hum of air conditioners, and the combined smell of gasoline, hot tar, exhaust and sweat. I watched as a bulldozer plowed over a tree, while another bulldozed the nearby fine wooden structure, to be replaced by the newest high rise and again I wondered who speaks for the trees?

The rivers lakes seas and oceans provide a circulatory system which removes harmful materials and flushes them into the deep dark ocean bottoms where they will be buried in sediment for eons to come. To the earth and us the trees, plants air and waterways must be the most important things.

So I asked myself
If I were a tree what would be important to me?

So what is important to the trees? Sunlight, water and insects? Insects provide plants with the ability to reproduce, to decompose, while providing them with homes both in there living bodies as well as in their rotting corpses... Well I could go on and on exploring all the interactions between all the different plants and animals that inhabit the earth, but suffice it to say diversity in plant and animals life is the key to the survival of the planet. The question we need to address is:
Where do we fit in to the grand scheme as a species as well as individuals...

return to John ~~ Environmental Links

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