The Master Work…
Nature in balance!
Nature will seek balance. Except for massive volcanic eruptions, asteroid strikes or other extreme natural disasters, most earthly change occurs slowly, allowing for nature to apply its own checks and balances and adapt through evolution… if something becomes too successful, nature counters with a predator, competing plant, bug, fungus or a disease to bring things back into balance. That has been the natural law until humans changed the calculus.
All living things are selfish by design. The goal is to thrive with little to no regard of consequence. Most lack empathy for other living things. If their actions cause the demise of others, well, so be it… survival of the fittest. Then humans showed up and instead of brute force, we developed a brain that allowed us to outcompete and in many ways, conquer nature.
There wanted yet the master-work, the end
Of all yet done; a creature, who, not prone
And brute as other creatures, but endued
With sanctity of reason, might erect
His stature, and upright with front serene
Govern the rest, self-knowing; and from thence
Magnanimous to correspond with Heaven,
But grateful to acknowledge whence his good
Descends, thither with heart, and voice, and eyes
Paradise Lost, John Milton 1667
Our intelligence might be our downfall. We are good at developing tools to exploit and dominate the natural world for our nutrition and comfort. For all intents and purposes, humans have acted as miners, stripping the oceans of fish, developing industrial farming methods that deplete life nurturing soils, release carbon and pollute with runoff, we have a bad habit of clearing rainforests for grazing land, polluting the air with fossil fuels, covering natural habitat with buildings and roads. We have changed the natural environment so quickly that nature can no longer keep up and all evidence suggests humans are creating the next mass extinction event.
We have something that other livings things do not – at least as far as we know. We have the super power of reason with self awareness and the ability to learn and understand cause and effect. The question is: Can enough of us apply our power of reason to turn things around and reverse the damage done by humans imposing their will on nature? It is never too late to strike a deal with nature and overcompensate for the damage done by humans. We just need to apply a little more reason and empathy to tip the scales in the favor of the natural world so nature can do her job and help us find balance again.