Lessons from Nature

Rizwan Saif
A verse of Allama Iqbal very beautifully states how the banda-e-sehrayi is totally dependent on nature. He attunes himself in line with nature rather than trying to mold nature according to him. He does not change nature as he wishes, instead he changes himself with nature.

Urbanized people in today’s times are in a constant flux to cut out nature as per their needs. If they want to expand their house, the first thing they will chop off are the trees in the garden. It has become a sad reality in the concrete jungle.

We are making all efforts to adjust nature with our ways, to fulfil our purpose, which more often than not results in disaster; floods occur, landslides happen due to excessive deforestation. So while banda-e-sehra adapts his lifestyle with nature, banda-e-kohistani has a sense of wonder. He is awestruck by nature and tries to find the purpose behind Allah’s creation. His bewilderment leads him to discover the benefits of each and every creation. After all, nothing is created without a purpose.

Often times, we don’t ponder over the purpose of our existence. Surely, we attend to our needs but we forget to pay attention to how we can add value to our surroundings. Human beings are born selfish, and rightly so as being selfish is somewhat necessary for survival. But being the creation with the highest intellect, we must also contemplate about our contribution to others around us. Be it things, or people.

A tree standing tall providing shade and fruit has no individuality of its own, no though pattern of its own. It solely exists for us and the environment. It gives us oxygen, facilitates the water cycle, stabilizes mountains with its roots. A flower blooms and dies within days, but it bears adverse weather conditions to exist, yet we trample it under our feet in one tenth of a second.

The flower growing in the wild is not tended after, nonetheless it adds to the colors and beauty of the wilderness. It has no self-awareness or insight into its purpose. It doesn’t know it is being photographed or admired. It exists for adding exquisiteness to the environment.

We need to start paying attention to our area of influence. Asking ourselves everyday: am I adding value to those around me? What am I giving to those around me?

A walnut or an almond has a hard shell but an edible and useful inner core. We should be like that. Despite being tough on the outside, we should be benefiting others. Do something which along with benefiting you, is also benefiting others around you.

Our lives are short, but if we manage to touch others’ lives in a positive way, or care for the environment, we can leave a lasting impact.

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