Identifying with Nature

When reading “Self-Realization” by Arne Naess I thought it was interesting when he was talking about the people in his home country of Norway who were moved from their locations along the arctic coast and moved into the “centers of development.” He mentions that these people realized, after being moved, that they were not the same as they used to be: part of their identity was taken away with the change of environment.

I can understand where these people are coming from. Normally when people refer to their home, it is not just the physical house that they are living in that they are referring to. Home is the entire area that the person lives in, which includes the nature in the area. For instance, my home here in Wichita includes the openness and tranquility that the large fields surrounding my neighborhood provide. My home includes the horses in the horse stables that are at the front of my neighborhood. If I were to come home one day and all of the fields were dug up to build new neighborhoods or the horses were all moved to a different stable, home would not seem the same. Part of who I have become by living in my home would be missing. Although I’ve never actually taken the time to conciously think about it this way before reading this, subconsciously I have been thinking this all along.



One response to “Identifying with Nature

  1. Amanda,
    I read an interesting chapter from a book called “What Matters” by Wendell Berry that explains the importance of “local culture” and its value. He basically explains that after a while, people are going to move from their home, therefore altering the culture and taking with them the memories of the culture until there is nothing left of the previous culture. Therefore, he explains the importance of “keeping things as they should be” so to say. The altering and changing of the environment would alter the culture, and therefore the culture could be lost forever, along with its values. Do you think that Berry and Naess think that we are slowly altering our world? I do, because our environment is always changing and some things will never return to this “culture/community” again (ex: extinction of animals and plants).

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