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Green Living: A new point of view inspired by nature

Sharla Paino | Interrobang | Opinion | November 16th, 2009

Editorial opinions or comments expressed in this online edition of Interrobang newspaper reflect the views of the writer and are not those of the Interrobang or the Fanshawe Student Union. The Interrobang is published weekly by the Fanshawe Student Union at 1001 Fanshawe College Blvd., P.O. Box 7005, London, Ontario, N5Y 5R6 and distributed through the Fanshawe College community. Letters to the editor are welcome. All letters are subject to editing and should be emailed. All letters must be accompanied by contact information. Letters can also be submitted online by clicking here.
I've never understood why it's so hard for people to get the saying, “stop and smell the roses.” I guess I've just always had that view on life: to appreciate the little things; moreover, the tiny things, and even the seemingly insignificant things, that people take for granted every day.

You see, when I am sad or depressed, I take comfort in the simple splendors of nature: the wind that blows through my hair, the ladybug that's trapped on the inside of a city bus, the droplets of rain that collect in the gutters and race down our streets towards the sewers.

These are things that I can't control - things that will continue without me, even when I cease to exist. While, to some, they may seem small, I'm the one who feels small, in comparison, and it is this thought that gives me comfort - knowing that regardless of what happens to me, it will not stop these brilliant curiosities from occurring.

The beauty found in nature is just so underrated. If people only knew - if they could only see things the way that I see them - they would never find reason to be sad. I mean, sure, I have my somber moments, but they are quickly aided by the purr of my cat (who's well-attuned to when I'm feeling blue), as he settles down on the bed beside me. I appreciate that. To me it is a reminder about what is most important in life.

The natural environment, the living world around us that survives amongst the cars, buildings and our ever-expanding cities, fighting to conquer the remaining spaces that were once lushly inhabited by green plants, trees and the little creatures who mean to co-exist with the world, instead of destroy it — THIS IS WHAT MATTERS! And, this is what people should be prioritizing, rather than some manufactured dream of success that consists of a giant home with heated bathroom floors, and a corporate job that swallows one's time by insisting that you buy into the goal of making other people lots of money.

But that's just it, there inlies the problem: our main priority in life has become to unquestionably attain money, and along with it, power, status and stuff. LOTS OF STUFF. So much stuff that people don't even need or use. Just stuff to distract us from the nature outside that could so easily make us happy. The sun, the green grass, and even the snow that sparkles seems dull and boring in relation now.

Yet, we're told that a lack of stuff, a lack of power, a lack of status and a lack of money will make us sad and angry. We're told that this means we are failures in life. It's no wonder then why we have so many people suffering from bouts of depression or feeling inadequate in our society.

The answer to these feelings of melancholy is right in front of us: it's hanging out on our front lawns, climbing up trees in the park, swimming in the Thames River and flying south for the winter. Quite simply, it's nature.

We have become too wrapped up in a point of view that will not only lead to the extinction of natural beauty, but to our own personal demise, as well. So please, next time you are walking to the bus stop, or even looking out your window, open up your eyes and see what you've been missing.
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