Living in Harmony with Nature


International Mother Earth Day on 22 April each year was established
by the United Nations General Assembly in 2009. Its aim is to
promote living in harmony with Nature and to achieve a just balance
among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and
future generations. The concept of living in harmony with Nature was
seen by the U.N. delegates as a way "to improve the ethical basis of
the relationship between humankind and our planet." It is the
biosphere we all belong to which is becoming the common heritage of
mankind which we must defend.

The term "Mother Earth" is an expression used in different cultures to
symbolize the inseparable bonds between humans and Nature.
Pachamama is the term used in the Andean cultures of South
America. The Earth and the ecosystem is our home. We need to
care for it as a mother is supposed to care for her children and the
children to show love and gratitude in return. However, we know from
all the folk tales of the evil stepmother as well as the records of
psychoanalytic sessions that mother-children relations are not always
relations of love, care and gratitude. Thus to really live in harmony
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizenwith Nature
requires deep shifts in values and attitudes, not just "sustainable
development" projects.

The United Nations began its focus on ecological issues with the
preparations for the 1972 Conference in Stockholm and has continued
with the 1992 Rio Declaration followed by the Rio plus 20 conference
20 years later. However the concept of living in harmony with Nature
is relatively new as a U.N. political concept. Yet it is likely to be
increasingly a theme for both governmental policy making and
individual action.

As Rodney Collin wrote in a letter "It is extraordinary how the key-
word of harmony occurs everywhere now, comes intuitively to
everyone's lips when they wish to express what they hope for. But I

feel that we have hardly yet begun to study its real meaning. Harmony
is not an emotion, an effect. It is a whole elaborate science, which for
some reason has only been fully developed in the realm of sound.
Science, psychology and even religion are barely touching it as yet."

Resolutions in the U.N. General Assembly can give a sense of
direction. They indicate that certain ideas and concepts are ready to
be discussed at the level of governments. However, a resolution is
not yet a program of action or even a detailed framework for
discussion. "Living in harmony with Nature" is at that stage on the
world agenda. Since the start of the yearly observation of Mother
Earth Day in 2010, there have been useful projects proposed around
a yearly theme. The 2018 theme is to reduce pollution from plastics.
Shambhala, 1958)
Shambhala, 1958)
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World CitizensThe
exponential growth of plastics is now a real threat by injuring marine
life, littering beaches and landfills and clogging waste systems. There
is a Shambhala, 1958)
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizensneed to
reduce the single use of plastic objects by reusing and recycling
plastic objects.
However reducing pollution from plastic objects, while useful, is not
yet living in harmony with Nature. There is still efforts to be made to
spell out the ethical base and the necessary shifts in attitudes and