“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~Albert Einstein
“To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.” ~Mahatma Gandhi
I came of age in the 1980’s, the decade of conspicuous consumption, a time when the movie “Wall Street” and everything it embodied was highly revered. The philosophy that “Greed is Good” was king.
Those were heady times. The allure of money and everything it can buy seemed a sure-fire route to eternal happiness.
However, a storm was gathering. Super high interest rates and a confidence in the ever-increasing stock market left many a family in ruin. It became a new reality to owe more money on your mortgage than your house was worth….a lot more, in fact.
While the decade started out so promising, it went out leaving behind a terrible wake of destruction. But for those not directly affected, the party went on, (or so it seemed).
What many people started to realize by the mid 1990’s was – money could not buy happiness. That fact became a house of cards. What was left after all those dreams came crashing down? It was time to get back to basics.
Some of the simplest things are free AND make us happy. For example, numerous studies show that connecting with nature is very beneficial to health and well-being.
Here are some of the facts:
- Taking a walk in a shopping mall is not the same as being outside in nature.
- Getting on a treadmill in a gym will not replace having the wind blowing through your hair, outside.
- Seaside, forests or mountains – the exact type of nature doesn’t matter.
- Your age does not affect how great the benefit will be.
- The intensity of activity, does not matter, you can sit still and enjoy the natural surroundings.
Fast forward to present day and my journey to finding a greater level of peace and happiness. If my 20-year-old self was sitting beside me now, watching me write these words, she wouldn’t believe it. She would probably think I had become my Mother. Luckily, I am now wise enough to realize that is a compliment in many ways. If love of nature and being outside were her greatest accomplishment with me, I think she did a great job.