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As this world is growing technologically and industrially, the importance of nature is slowly becoming obsolete. I don’t speak for everyone because there are still those who devote their lives to activities in the natural world, and those who devote their lives for the preservation of nature. This being said, from my speculation, growing up and moving from place to place, many individuals I have run into are not being taught or are developing appreciation and admiration for nature. There are a lot of issues surrounding this and I am not necessarily “blaming” these individuals for their lack of exposure to natural environments.
The next generation has become so used to the visual exposure of screens of many kinds from phone to laptops to TV’s and other gaming systems. While technology has had many positive impacts on our culture, the diversion from nature and time spent outside is one of its negative attributes. Even as I write this, typing away on my computer, I am hypocritically utilizing my time staring at a screen talking about the natural world instead of being in it, and going for a walk or run, or even just sitting outside. Appreciation for nature is no doubt dwindling and the more we build and develop to distract ourselves, the more separated we become.

It is a mind blowing concept that, over the time humans have existed, they have created so many “things”, and allowed these “things” to define them. While that is an incredibly broad statement, because the word “thing” could mean a variety of materials, it provides room for vast interpretation. Specifically, I want to talk about what is on the surface, or what people use to define their own personal existence. “Things” such as technologies, brand clothing, makeup, jewelry. I am limiting this to modern materialism, but it is important to recognize that themes of materialism have been patterned throughout human existence; they are just more recognizable in this fashion, since I conveniently exist in this time period. The significance I want to point out regarding materialism is not the simple fact that people acquire “things” but that these items distort how the surrounding world views these individuals. Simply put, walking down the street I could make assumptions (emphasis on assumptions) about an individual’s life (interests, family life, economic status, education level etc.) just by observing how they physically present themselves. Conversely, if it was a social norm for people to be naked everywhere, all the time, it would not be as easy for me to infer characteristics about an individual. Materialism is increasingly defining individuals, not necessarily negatively, but nonetheless construing perceptions.

“Reflection is looking in so you can look out with a broader, bigger, and more accurate perspective.”
— Mick Ukleja and Robert Lorber

I have always been fascinated with perspective. Society can say what they want about it, but ultimately, it is individualized. What I find particularly interesting about this quote from Ukleja and Lorber is that they talk about perspective in relation to reflection. They essentially say that we reflect upon ourselves, and look to our own insight to formulate our unique perspectives. I like this point of view because they are saying we don’t need to rely on the influences of the world to formulate our own outlooks. Perspective is something we already possess and create, we just need to look to ourselves to further develop it. I like their understanding that once we look in we can in a way release our perspective into the world. I guess that is why there is so much diversity, in a broader sense than what we’re used to, because of the billion of perspectives that fill the space.

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