By Jonathan Gramling

Within our human-centric worlds, we go about our daily
lives working, shopping and playing as if the only thing
that mattered was human beings. We remain focused on
ourselves as if nothing else mattered and that all of
nature exists to fill our every need and desire, that nature
is only a prop in a play about human kind.

And so we use and toss away the natural aspects of this
world, even those things that we so dearly depend like
clean air and water. We act as if there is an unlimited
supply of everything that we consume, that there is
always another hill that can become tomorrow’s garbage
dump, that another forest can be cut down to make room
for yet another development. And so what if another
species becomes extinct? Isn’t that nature’s course?

But then something like COVID-19 comes along to
remind us that we are not indestructible, that we are not
the rulers of the universe, that we are still — no matter
how much we deny it — a part of nature and not its ruler.
While we feel that we are the most dominant species on
Earth, we must remember that so too were the dinosaurs.
We must seek to be in balance with Mother Earth and
not act as if we own her for she will at times remind us
that we are not the all-powerful creatures that we think
we are. We are part of Mother Earth. Mother Earth is not
a part of us.

And so, we must live in balance with Mother Earth to
ensure the clean air and water and the diversity of living
things. For if we don’t, Mother Earth will surely bring us
in balance, willingly or unwillingly. The choice — but
not the outcome — is up to me and you.