We take things for granted. Sun will shine in the morning, subway will transport you to your destination, people will sell you the goods and services you need and so on. Everything we have experienced in the past will be at our reach also tomorrow. All this is true in the short term and provided that in the meanwhile there are no drastic changes. But how can you recognise something incremental and familiar that is causing big changes to happen in the medium to long term? Often we do not. We are ignorant.
If you do not appreciate the small things how can you expect to value anything else either? We take as granted that we have clean water, comfortable and predictable climate, adequate resources, clean environment, and a beautiful nature. Still we are every day acting in a manner that is destroying all the things we value, permanently. Water is only clean when it is not polluted by many sources over an extended period of time. Climate is moderate and predictable only when the proportion, quality and quantity of vegetation and forests stay within certain boundaries. The landscape remains beautiful only when it is not built over or harvested for some other means.
Destroying is easy. We are masters in exploitation and taking things apart. Reverse engineering and using something do not mean that one is capable of understanding the creation process or even the objects of interest. Only an ignorant person is proud of his/her achievements while leaving a mess behind. Harmony and balance are only possible when there is enough understanding and appreciation for the resources that enable one to take the next steps or further stages of development. It is very shortsighted to assume that one is capable of getting something indefinitely without causing dramatic changes along the way. Our industrial revolution and very rapid one-way consumption of resources has lasted only a few centuries. Still we have been able to cause permanent damage and destruction in almost every part of the planet. We are often blind to the things that develop over time. Unfortunately consistent havoc by billions of individuals every day can and will make a big mess. Ignorance is no excuse. We still need to live here, and so do the future generations.
Oxford American dictionary has a definition for our behaviour: “an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense.” And guess how this type of one-way and shortsighted living is called? Parasitic. A parasite does not appreciate its environment and supplier of the resources it needs. It is ignorant. Where is the sophistication and high culture we are so proud of? At least it is not visible in our everyday actions. Small things put together make the change—for good or worse. Don’t just think about it, start appreciating what you have. Today.