A common attitude is that mankind is destined to control or conquer nature. We need to climb the highest mountains. We must learn how to clone sheep; maybe humans in the future. It is as though we think we have the intelligence to figure it all out. However this is undermined when we hear the doctor who came up with the idea of avoiding gluten now tell us that it is not causing the problems he told us about in the past. Or when the doctor gives us a prescription for the drug to control a problem, along with two other prescriptions to off-set the negative impact of the first drug. Or when they tell you not to eat eggs … oops, now it’s OK. Listen to the ads for pharmaceuticals on TV and pay attention to all the warning statements at the end. We invent one drug to help a single condition and then warn users about the dire consequences of its use.

You call that conquering or controlling nature? I don’t. It’s not science. It’s hubris.

There’s a lot we could learn from our predecessors; our Native American friends. In his book Nature – Speak, Ted Andrews talks about Gifts of the Earth (page 16), “Native Americans recognize that they are a part of Nature, not a ruler of it. They acknowledge a stewardship role with the natural world. Plants and animals are companions, healers, teachers, spirit messengers and even younger siblings needing protection at times. As such, they are given the respect  that one gives to any member of the human family. To them everything in Nature is related. All life is sacred and thus everything that comes from the Earth is a gift …”

If western man hadn’t been so sure that he knew best, we could have learned much from Native Americans. If we would have learned what they knew, we might have been able to avoid the problems we are facing today from climate change. We are not in charge of Nature, we are a part of it; we are surrounded by it; we live in it; we need it to survive. It is indispensable. It is the basis of life itself.

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