By hurting nature you are hurting yourself
BENGALURU: Surely educators are aware of what is actually happening in the world. People are divided racially, religiously, politically, economically, and this division is fragmentation. It is bringing about great chaos in the world-wars, every kind of deception politically, and so on. There is the spreading violence of man against man. This is the actual state of confusion in the world, in the society in which we live; and this society is created by all human beings with their culture, their linguistic divisions, their regional separations. All this is breeding not only confusion but hatred, a great deal of antagonism and further linguistic differences.
This is what is happening; and the responsibility of the educator is really very great. He is concerned in all these schools to bring about a good human being who has a feeling of global relationship, who is not nationalistic, regional, separate, religiously clinging to the old dead traditions, which really have no value at all. The responsibility of the educator becomes more and more serious, more and more committed, more and more concerned with the education of his students.
What is education doing actually? Is it really helping mankind, our children, to become more concerned, more gentle, generous, not to go back to the old pattern, the old ugliness and naughtiness of this world? If the educator is really concerned, as he must be, then he has to help the student to find out his relationship to the world, not to the world of imagination or romantic sentimentality, but to the actual world in which all things are taking place; and also to the world of nature, to the desert, the jungle or the few trees that surround him, and to the animals of the world. (Animals, fortunately, are not nationalistic; they hunt only to survive.) If the educator and the student lose their relationship to nature, to the trees, to the rolling sea, each will certainly lose his relationship with humanity.
What is nature? There is a great deal of talk about and endeavour to protect nature, the animals, the birds, the whales and dolphins, to clean the polluted rivers, the lakes, the green fields and so on. Nature is not put together by thought, as religion is, as belief is. Nature is the tiger, that extraordinary animal with its energy, its great sense of power. Nature is the solitary tree in the field, the meadows and the grove; it is that squirrel shyly hiding behind a bough.
Nature is the ant and the bee and all the living things of the earth. Nature is the river, not a particular river, whether the Ganges, the Thames or the Mississippi. Nature is all those mountains, snow-clad, with dark blue valleys and ranges of hills meeting the seas. The universe is part of this world. One must have a feeling for all this, not destroy it, not kill for one’s pleasure, not kill animals for food. We do kill the vegetables that we eat, but one must draw the line somewhere. If you do not eat vegetables, then how will you live? So one must intelligently discern.