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What If Humans Are Good?

Why is our species destructive? Have we always been? Will we always be? In all its splendor of interrelated species, did Nature stumble, creating a greedy, lethal, or just plain “bad” specimen? These are questions I have been asking myself since I was a child and are particularly relevant now as we focus on the goodness of people during this holiday season.

As a seasoned award-winning filmmaker, I decided to finally frame this lifelong inquiry into a cinematic journey of our relationship with the natural world. This is one of the many reasons I chose to create Love Thy Nature.

Duane Elgin, an expert in the field of social science, shared in an interview that he often asks his audiences the following question: “What phase of maturity is the human species at today? Are we toddlers, adolescents, adults, or elders?” The vast majority of people around the globe answer that we’re adolescents!

In fact, as biomimicry expert Dr. Dayna Baumeister states, our species is so young that if we were to “squeeze” the history of Earth into just one year (Jan 1st to Dec 31st), humans only emerged on the planet on Dec 31st, at 11:36 pm, or just 24 mins ago!

In other words, we are the young ones and just as teenagers naturally distance themselves from their parents in order to individuate, it might not be far fetched to think that we, humans, also had to disconnect from our Mother Nature, in order to understand both ourselves and her scientifically.

And what is fascinating about this is that science has come full circle. Recent findings indicate that all life and systems on the planet are fully interconnected (Gaia Theory by James Lovelock), solidifying scientifically what Indigenous and Wisdom traditions have told us all along: that we are inseparable from everything around us.

So, maybe, we might not be the “bad species”, but maybe just the wild and “invincible” kids, who are now being pushed into maturity as we face the catastrophic consequences of Nature systems’ crises, including the threat to our very survival. It’s time to grow up into adulthood and develop a protective, parenting love for family (including all species). This new era in human evolution is indeed dawning. Environmental/social-justice groups are blossoming like spring flowers all over the world, creating what has now become the largest movement to ever take hold in the history of humanity.

And while there is still tremendous resistance from the economic and political powers around the globe, this ground-up “green” movement will have to win. After all, humanity only has two choices: evolve or die.

As scientist Jay Harman says in Love Thy Nature, there are two motivators for change: fear and love. Fear is definitely present, as we’re witnessing the natural world being consumed at a terrifying pace. That fear is driving us to create solutions.

But love moves us from within: When a child explores the wonders of Nature, an adult rescues an injured animal, an executive discovers her inner life while climbing a mountain, or a father loses himself in the eyes of his newborn child, those experiences can crack our hearts so wide open that loving Nature becomes second nature.

Love Thy Nature shows that when we awaken a reverence for Nature, we rediscover beauty, connectedness, and wonder. From nature destroyers, we become nature guardians. What we love, we protect. When we love, we transform.

With such powerful realization, the goodness of the human species might shine far beyond just this holiday season. Imagine if we were to give our children the gift of nature for themselves and many generations to come…

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