The Choice to be Made – to Cherish or to Self-Destruct

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Modern man, arguably perhaps the most intelligent of all beings on this fragile planet Earth, arrived here not so long ago; about 200,000 years back…a tiny speck of dust in the vastness of cosmic time-scales. But in spite of that fleeting presence, he has made his impact felt. He has risen up the evolutionary ranks, facing some of the fiercest battles with other species, and countless other ordeals with nature’s occasional fury. But he has least so far. Nature in her series of great experiments, in a succession of trials and errors, was finally able to create that super-species. Little did she know that he’ll one day come to be her own nemesis.

Antaeus emerging from the Earth, which was his mother and the source of all his strength Antaeus emerging from the Earth (Gaia), who was his mother and the source of all his strength
Antaeus emerging from the Earth (Gaia), who was his mother and the source of all his strength


It was all there, even when we weren't

Let’s rewind a little, and go back to the time when intelligent modern man had not yet evolved and life was much simpler. Hmm…let’s see. OK, all the land was still there, with its majestic mountain ranges and snow-capped peaks, the exquisite plateaus that run miles, the flourishing plains and the incredible variety of flora & fauna that they support. So the land as we know it today, was more or less already there. The water was there too, within the gigantic glacial rivers that are the sources of almost all of the freshwater in the world, powerful streams that carve hard rock to create beautiful canyons, wondrous waterfalls that multiply any place’s beauty, the shallow seas that harbour some of the most exotic and diverse life on Earth, and the mysterious ocean deep. So, essentially, water was there too. The land was there, the water was there, and all the other organisms were there too already, created by that skilled artist called nature. Everything perfect to the last detail, and a system that maintained its own equilibrium over millennia.

Then one fine day (well, not exactly a day, but probably more like a few thousands of years) nature decided to push her limits and create a new model of perfection. And man evolved. At first, while he was still mostly at her mercy, man used to worship nature. But later, as he started to get more sense of his place, he slowly but surely lost touch with his creator. His knowledge grew, but his wisdom nonetheless decreased over time. But with that knowledge, something else grew too, which was soon to tilt the scales more profoundly in man’s favour than perhaps any other species, ever…

Man - worshipping even nature gods in HIS own form
Man - worshipping even nature gods in HIS own form

...and then it happened

With knowledge came power, and it exposed that one flaw that nature had been reckless enough to overlook while creating man…the greed for even more power. So much so that one day, not too long ago, man with his new-found obsession with power, decided to control nature herself, grossly overestimating his own power and underestimating that of his creator. He modified, disturbed and destroyed life on this planet as he pleased…he violated that sacred covenant that binds all natural beings. He tried to dominate, not co-exist, with all life forms on all the few places on this Earth where he’s been able to set his feet. Till today that thought of co-existence seldom crosses his power-inebriated mind, and he continues to wreak havoc on ecosystems and destroy prehistoric equilibria, the world over. And the balance that nature was so carefully able to maintain for over millions of years, has now been tampered with. Nature, in her turn, will now come back with her full vengeful force and would restore that natural order. Maybe not tomorrow, but maybe in a decade or so, quite soon anyway.

Nature has seen and had enough of this
Nature has seen and had enough of this


So what now? Is this it for us?

It’s going to be soon, even amongst the most enlightened and yet the most deluded species of all time, some folks do realise that (see here and here).  And it’s their responsibility that their kind gets this crucial message and acts on it, responsibly, as befitting for a creature with so much power, and not as a mindless idiot he behaves like today. Probably then sense would prevail, and perhaps we could still make it right, perhaps there’s still some time and hope left for the human race.

We’ve been too proud for too long, and it’s time we realise that it was all there before we came to this Earth, and in all likelihood, most of it would still be there long after we’re gone. The choice is right in front of us – do we choose to be grateful for all that there is and cherish it, or do we choose to destroy it and with it, eventually, self-destruct.

© Jayant Rana, 2014
Image credit: / mandymama / CC BY-NC-ND; srgpicker / CC BY; Malinda Rathnayake / CC BY


  1. Rishi Raz GuptaSunday, 15 June, 2014

    Its a very good piece mate. Realization only helps when it comes in time. Sometime we get into the fight with our mothers but at the end of the day a small gesture like helping her in making the bed or setting the table for the dinner fixes everything. we are in need of similar small gestures coz if the 6 billion of us can rob her of its "gaya" imagine what 6 billion small gestures can bring about. But the question is, what should that small gesture be and can we do it.

  2. Hello, this weekend is pleasant for me, for the reason that this time i
    am reading this wonderful educational piece of writing here at my residence.


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