Magazine article School Arts

Forces of Nature

Magazine article School Arts

Forces of Nature

Article excerpt

The forces of nature are powerful. The flow of lava creates land, the push of glacial ice shapes it, the pull of flood waters moves it, the whirl of a windstorm alters it, the tremor of an earthquake weakens it, and human carelessness destroys it. Natural forces can create, and natural forces can destroy.

The forces of human nature are equally powerful. Out of love, we can create life. Out of rage, we can destroy life. Out of neglect, we can damage life. Out of caring, we can maintain life.

We are all connected to the ecology of the planet. That's a human commonality, according to Ernest Boyer. The reality is that some of us are more loosely connected than others. It's been more than a quarter of a century since we sloganized the anti-litter campaign with "Keep America Beautiful" posters, and still we have visible litter along city streets and highways. Out of carelessness, we litter. Out of carelessness, we senselessly destroy.

In the small college town where I live, the main street is, or to some extent may be, lined with young Bradford pear trees. One by one the trees have to be replaced as thoughtless pedestrians snap the trunks, perhaps playing Tarzan on late night jaunts through town. And even after repeated cleanup campaigns, the small creek that runs through our town continues to show visible traces of human carelessness.

Certainly we have been effective in regulating the industrial pollution of the environment, but we seem to have difficulty altering human behavior. …

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