If you spend some time outside, near a river, by the seaside, or just in a local park, you might find some wonderful plants and tiny little insects, or butterflies, all of which form a part of the natural world. We often use the word nature in our conversations. Most of the time we use it, we refer to the surrounding greenery, mountains, variety of trees around us and we often put emphasis on knowing nature and spending time with it. If we have to define Nature in very broad terms, it can be said to encompass everything that the physical universe contains. Nature also brings under it the processes that things on Earth and beyond this planet undergo. Although the way in which we understand and talk about Nature is slightly different from this broad definition.
Nature refers to the diversity of plants, trees and wildlife that inhabits the Earth. It also constitutes elements such as forests, rivers, lakes, seas, mountains, stones. The changes that these living and non-living elements go through are also referred to as nature or natural phenomena. In that way, the changes in weather that take place are also a part of this.
The coexistence of all these elements together and the way they participate in each other’s existence also forms a part of this.
We might have found people describing and writing about Nature a lot. Poets, especially, would have a lot to say about spending time in the natural world, and its importance for human growth. Nature is also celebrated through its depictions in art, photography and almost all kinds of books.
These days, if you are well aware of news and daily affairs all over the world, there are huge campaigns going on to preserve our nature and our natural resources. This is a responsibility that all of us share, whether we are little children or adults or senior citizens.
The importance of nature in sustaining life
Although it is so clearly observable as to why Nature is important for us and our survival, we will look at some ways in which it is beneficial to us. The ever advancing development in terms of technology and artificial materials has made us detached from the wonders that surround us, so it might be nice to remind ourselves of the existence of it again. We still rely on Nature for our basic needs.
The natural world is essential to sustain life by providing us with air to breathe, water to drink, and other essential elements such as a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, grains etc. Besides this, it can be a source of relaxation and escape from the daily stress that we all carry around us. The wonders we witness in nature can be a source of learning and inspiration if we are willing enough to pay even the smallest bit of attention to it.
- Water that nature provides is a resource that is abundantly and freely available to all of us. It is essential to sustain human life as well as of other animals and plants too. It supports aquatic life and plant life as well.
- Trees and plants that we often take for granted and cut down recklessly support life on earth by giving us oxygen, the air that we breathe and that keeps us alive. They also provide home to birds and some species of animals such as monkeys, squirrels etc. We can obtain wood from trees. There are plants that provide us with food and other plants that have medicinal properties.
- Diverse animals and birds: There is diversity in the wildlife present in Nature. Although it may not seem important to us, there are processes in nature such as the ‘food chain’ and to maintain that food chain, it is necessary for such a diverse wildlife to be present. Some of these animals act as a source of food to other animals, and to some people as well. We can also obtain fiber for textiles as well. The silkworm, for example, provides us with silk, although it may seem to be a tiny insect.
- Maintain climate: The conservation and presence of natural resources such as forests, grasslands, and water bodies can help regulate climate by playing their part in nature if they are left undisturbed. And we all know a steady climate is essential for the survival of human life.
- Beauty, wellbeing and art: If we are in connection with the natural world, and we participate in it regularly, we will find ourselves more relaxed and inspired. We can learn the values of patience and steadfastness through nature. Research has also found that our stress levels decrease when we are in nature.
The natural world is also a source of beauty. Imagine a world without mountains, flowers and trees. It would be a rather dark and dreary one. We can use flowers for decorations inside our houses as well. This beautiful natural world also inspires books, poems, films and photography. Natural sceneries also inspire drawings on paper, textiles, ceramics etc.
It is difficult to imagine a world without all these elements in it. In fact, such a world would not even exist. And it is our collective responsibility to take care of the resources that we have been gifted with so that they last for generations to come.