When we understand ‘why’ we want to do something, we can inspire effective change as opposed to when we just know ‘what’ we want to do. – Simon Sinek on ‘How great leaders inspire action’.
I cannot imagine the world without elephants. The world without rhinos, lions, sea creatures, and wild life in its entirety. From birds to insects, to trees and even fungi and bacteria. I also cannot imagine the world without us, human beings, although the ecosystem will still exist without us in it. Sometimes we do not remember we are part of nature.
I think I have mentioned this way too many times. We need a reminder. This is a reminder of how sublime the world we live in is and why we should seek to live in harmony with all living beings. How and why everything is connected. From the cosmic environment to the terrestrial environment.
According to Dialectical Materialism (A. Spirkin); On the Human Being and Being Human – Man in the Realm of Nature; Man is constantly aware of the influence of nature in the form of the air he breathes, the water he drinks, the food he eats, and the flow of energy and information… we are connected with nature by “blood” ties and we cannot live outside nature… Human history offers any number of examples of how environmental conditions and the relief of our planet have promoted or retarded human development.
Therefore, can we survive on this planet without nature? Will the world be the same when we let wild animals and plant species disappear? Will our lives be affected when certain or all creatures disappear from the face of the earth, not by natural occurring extinction processes, but by human-caused extinction? When we allow hunting and poaching happen all for the elite few. Hunting is okay if it done within cultural customs in communities where regulation and control happens and is effective and followed through. In this situation, hunting just because you belong to a certain status quo is what is not encouraged by a number of conservationists and concerned parties.
Today marks World Lion Day and on 12th of August, we will mark World Elephant day. These are two species of great significance. Any person who has worked and given their lives to the protection of these species will affirm how important these species are to our planet. Not just in providing foreign exchange through tourism for most African and Asian countries, but in ensuring an ecosystem balance and in some instances, getting to relate with these wild animals has been a revelation to human existence.
From spending so much time with elephants, Dr. Paula Kahumbu knows that this is not just like any other animal. These are being with personalities, with families and with feelings. Clearly we can learn more about ourselves from elephants. The ‘Elephant man’, Jim Justus Nyamu believes elephants are magnificent creatures. He also believes, if we all changed our attitude towards wildlife, it would be very easy to ensure their survival. My view on elephants, if you just spend some time, even on a short safari, you will realise how beautiful, awe-inspiring this species is. You will realise the God given natural harmony such a huge animal embodies.
If today there are no lions left in Africa, it will have a significant effect. Lions are very iconic species. Nevertheless, let us move away from the scientific reason how lions are important. Let us discuss the ‘whys’ today and not the ‘how’s’. Lions are significant in the African culture. The male lion is considered the head, leader and the protector of all creatures. This theory and perception, however, is in not only the African culture but the western culture as well. The King of the jungle. A well-known animation movie series, Lion King, was produced on just this species. The significance of what the movie teaches everyone, young and old, has instilled life lessons in every individual.
Both these creatures have been an embodiment on brands all across the globe such as Amarula. In Kenya, most well-known brands use them as their emblem or part of their logo, even if it’s part of the animal such as the Tusks of the elephant. The Kenya Commercial Bank, Kenya Wines Agencies Ltd, Nakumatt supermarket, Tuskys supermarket, Williamson Tea, Tusker, ICEA Lion group among many other companies either have the elephant or the Lion as their logo. Least we forget, the Kenyan currency in denominations of Ksh1000 has the elephant and the lion being on every Kenyan note
unless you are blind to note as well as the Kenyan Coat of Arms.
So why let this species disappear!
We can pick up a lot from nature. Life lessons from perseverance to strength, patience, endurance to adaptation. The list is endless. Unless you are one with nature, then you will never know what you are missing. Some of the world’s mental and even physical problems can be solved by being in nature. Remember, nature is good for both our physical and cognitive health and happiness.
The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. – Mahatma Gandhi