MY WALK WITH NATURE
By: Sravani Singampalli
“Have you all seen a duck?” my teacher asked during the value education special class when I was in 5th grade. Well, everybody shouted a big ‘yes’ and the very next second she said that we all should be like a ‘duck’. None of us understood what she was trying to say and guess what? We all started shouting quack, quack! Like a duck and made fun of it. We were showing signs of insanity. My teacher glared at all of us but later on explicated that a duck seems to swim so effortlessly being ‘smooth and tranquil’ on top of the water but under water it does ‘restless pedalling’. In an articulate manner she said that a duck teaches us two things. The first one is to be always silent and peaceful but work hard in a smart way by not letting others know about your efforts. The second one is ‘nothing is worth without struggle.’ I was really inspired by this example and imagined it as an epitome of ‘brilliance and alacrity’. My walk with nature for a better future started from that day.
I remember that when I was in school we were taught about ‘biomimicry’ which is nothing but imitating nature for inventing new things and solving human problems. Scientists have always seen nature as their; Research and Development’ lab. I was surprised to know that the high speed bullet trains of Japan were built successfully by taking inspiration from kingfisher, a fish eating bird. The wedge shaped beak of kingfisher allows it to enter the water without a splash. This phenomenon was used to redesign the front part of the train which previously created loud booming sounds due to the typical bullet shape. We can use this learning to invent even better versions. Similarly, the inspiration from spider webs which are strong and flexible is being used to develop textile industry through genetically engineered silk to start a new trend in the future and also to make medical tapes to heal the wounds. Learning from nature not only helps us in innovations but can also be used in shaping one’s personality and building a strong character for a bright future. For all those people who have lost hope and pessimistic about their future, I have a great example for you from nature. Just look at the trees in your surroundings. Their foliage is so green during summers but do the green leaves stop turning red when autumn approaches? No! Trees don’t stop the leaves from falling when winter arrives, isn’t it? They stand deeply rooted in the ground with branches spread. They surrender to the universe and trust that whatever happens is for their good in the long run. They teach us the principle of ‘non-resistance and perseverance’ in life. Be like a deeply rooted tree and wait for the ‘season of triumph’ just as the trees wait for the season of spring to behold the fruits of hard work.
As a child I always tried learning from nature. I perceived the trees around as a symbol of ‘magnanimity and altruism’ I drew similarities between them and the lives of great people like ‘Mother Teresa’. Mother Teresa who founded the missionaries of charity spent her entire life in the service of the ‘destitute’. She was a selfless woman. Yes! Exactly like a tree which provides shelter and food to so many living creatures. It doesn’t live for itself and doesn’t expect anything in return. I made a promise to myself that in future I would always lend my hand to others who are in need with a ‘selfless heart.’ The great writer Alice Walker once said “In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.” If roses stand as a sign of beauty and love then orchids are considered as potential elixirs. Never compare yourself with others. Being a good human being is the real beauty so, ignore if people criticize your appearance. Just believe that you are unique. Bring out the talent hidden within you. Love nature and learn from nature for a bright future.