LIFESTYLE WITH Akinyi D. Osongo – LEARNING FROM NATURE

“Nature doesn’t hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”- Lao Tzu

When I was a young girl, I loved to explore nature and in that exploration I came to learn of one of my phobia which was insectophobia-the fear of insects. I would kill the insects even if they meant no harm to me and sometimes even look for them in their habitat and destroy the insects alongside their homes. My phobia would have gone out of hand if not for my mother, lucky for me she was a biology teacher. At the age of ten she sat down with me and explained the importance of insects. She spoke of how we depended on the insects directly and indirectly for survival. She called it interdependence and how it was important for the insects to be alive in order for it to function. Of course I stopped killing the insects but that was the beginning of a new chapter in my life…I developed a key interest in nature. I wanted to see just how interdependent nature was. This even led me to human beings as part of nature and how dependent we are on various things.

Everything we see and others that we cannot even see are in an alliance so that they can help each other thrive. This is just like nature, there is so much more to it than what the eye can see. Even when something looks perfect on the surface, unless we take a deeper look on what is happening on the inside we will never understand it. This is why we are taking a deeper look at nature to find out what we can learn from it.

Human beings as species have outstanding qualities but the other species too have certain entirety and abilities that humans do not possess which makes all the species to be interdependent on one another. They are some lessons we learn from animals that we cannot learn from any human being. I owned a dog once when I was kid and he taught me more of unconditional love than anyone has ever done. Actually he showed me more love than any man I have been in a relationship with. Through the dog I learned the true nature of unconditional love without expectations. The dog would still shake its tail, run to meet me when I came from school and protect me even when I forgot to feed it in the morning or take it for its evening walk because I was so tired. I like to presume that the dog forgave me for my wrong doings without holding any grudges. The true nature of forgiveness is forgetting and letting go of grudges. Understanding love is also a feeling and does not even require words. I did not communicate with my dog verbally but our actions passed the message of affection. True communication doesn’t always require words. Our energy, body language and tone can say much more than the actual words. We are thus dependent on nature to help us learn some of the basics skills in life that we need to have a peaceful co-existence.

How many times have you considered your dreams unachievable?  These are the times that you have contemplated suicide after succumbing to depression. Just think of the storms and the transformation they bring in nature, they wash out the old and make space for the new to grow. The storms in our lives have a similar effect, they clear out space for new lives to grow in us and for us to think of new possibilities. The storms are just part of the magical cycle of death and rebirth of life. However destructive a situation is-let it be, give it the space it requires for growth and wait for the new beginnings to transform.

I am one of those people who appreciate solitude. Solitude is addictive and once you see how peaceful it is to be alone, you never want to deal with people again. Nature has the same power and feeling, that feeling when you are alone somewhere at the beach or at the forest away from the noisy streets and the annoying feeling. Isn’t that amazing? How nature can help us escape reality, it can give us a silent place to plan our next moves and write down our goals. Even if you are the busiest person, make an effort and get out there. You will see amazing things but mostly you will come out a rejuvenated person. This is perhaps the most amazing thing about nature-its healing effect. Patients in a hospital have been known to get well faster if they are in a room with a lovely view of nature. It offers a cooling and soothing effect which functions as therapy to the sick.

Have you ever thought of how the world could be if we all helped each other achieve our dreams? If we could talk to each other about our issues and not talk about each other? Just how good would the world be?  Does the hyena hate the zebra because it is more beautiful than it? Is the zebra even aware of its beauty? The idea of animals hating each other for something they are not aware of is as ridiculous as human beings competing with each other. A black person has his uniqueness so does a white person. So how about we use our uniqueness to build each other?

I am in my early adulthood where there is too much pressure put on me by the society to finish my studies, get into a relationship, find a good job and most of all have a possibility of a brighter future. Sometimes the pressure is so much that it tends to break someone down but recently I wondered of how long spring has to wait for winter to arrive and end so it can manifest itself again? If seasons of the year can be patient…what makes anyone think that you can’t be patient and successful too?

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