All but a little bitty spot

On Page 8 Emerson says ” Standing on the bare ground…. all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transaparent eye-ball; I am nothing; I see all…” Hull talks in Chapter 9 that the western civilization is taught we are better than nature because we made in the image of God. In a 100 years or so our life vanishes from the planet, we become dust again but during that hundred years we can change things for good or for bad. Thoreau talks about walking and leaving society for time to think and appreciate Nature. When in the wild we can begin to see the insufficients of one little human. But we are sufficient as we can destroy Nature very easily with our little bit of pollution or a camp fire that was not contained or dumping of our car oil into the soil. Little things compound to make a bigger deal. We should look at ourselves as less important and more in harmony with everybody and all things.


2 responses to “All but a little bitty spot

  1. It’s all about perspective; on the scale of things, it seems that one person’s actions cannot do much harm. But, if every person is seen as being responsible for the effects on nature, then that is where it becomes a problem. Unfortunately, today people are very individualistic: we tend to focus on what we do and how we can do better/worse, that we forget to include others in the relationship of trying to make a change. We even forget that we are a part of this larger entity which includes nature and others around us.

  2. I think you’ve put your finger on an important and paradoxical idea that circulates around this idea of the Anthropocene: we are both more and less important than we take ourselves to be. As Sara points out, and as a wide range of evidence shows, we are (collectively) quite sufficient to have a significant impact on nature. Yet acknowledging this seems to run counter to the humility that we probably need to cultivate in order to improve our prospects for the future. It is as though we must learn (or relearn) to respect that which we have spent centuries working (in many ways, successfully) to dominate.

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