Today, I read about some scientific research in Cameroon, where scientists discovered the drug Tramadol naturally occurring in the root bark of a tree there. Tramadol is a type of synthetic pain killer. I know someone who takes it for headaches. After some investigation, the scientists actually discovered that many of the people in the area were on Tramadol, and so were the cattle. Turns out the Tramadol was getting to the tree root bark via the cattle excrement in the soil. What may have appeared at first as the drug naturally occurring in this tree was later discovered to be largely due to man's influence on the environment.
Then I started to wonder: What examples do I have in my own life where I once thought nature, or perhaps another person, was solely responsible for a situation, only to find out later that my own actions helped cause it too? Well, I can think of many. I wasn't born enlightened, like some. I recall being stuck in the victim game quite a bit in my life. There are endless people to blame when one doesn't acknowledge his or her own behavior. How empowering it is when we recall that we have choices - that we are always making choices - every moment of the day.
We can play nicely with nature or we can disregard it. What is nature? It's you. It's me. It's our environment. It's our constitutions, predispositions, desires and behaviors - and how well they sync up with what's going on around us. It doesn't have to be some mysterious thing that exists beyond our comprehension, but it's also not always easy to look at the truth is it?
Sometimes it's difficult to look. Sometimes it's difficult to change. Let's continue trying to see things as they really are. This is the journey.