One of the roles of emotions in the enlightenment and romantic age was establishing a person’s connection with nature. Before the 17 century, the connection was there. However, there was no clear identity to conclusively described the feeling that established the connectedness between people and nature. At the time nature as a whole, that is flora and fauna in forests were considered entities on their own; no direct relation with nature could be equated to the connection between human. However, during the discovery of personal feelings and affection, it was established that humans could have affections for nature just as they have towards each other. This essay will, therefore, elaborate on the exploration and development of man’s connection with nature.
One of the aspects of human connection is the cognitive component. This is essentially the feeling that is generated within the person when they interact with any aspect of nature. The feeling is associated with an activity of the brain hence, the cognitive connection. According to Karandashev, during the enlightenment- romantic period one of the first nature connection was attributed to the relationship between little girls and flowers, naturally little girls like to play with bright flower petals. Their feeling is established by the fact that they were not willing to let the flower wither, as a matter of fact, they placed the flowers onto water pots to keep them bright for some time (Karandashev, 2017). This was among the first research analogies that demonstrated a human cognitive connection with nature. In the contemporary world, the act is still demonstrated, not only to little girls but the grown-ups as well. Also, they have taken the practice a notch higher by planting ornamental trees and flowers to form an organic environment. The flowers spice up the physical appearances of homes and offices.
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Another facet of connection that demonstrated the human link to nature during the enlightenment-romantic period was the effective component. This is the ability of people to care and protect nature. A perfect example that was used to demonstrate care for nature was a man that lived by the forest; he earned his living by logging wood and selling timber. He had a specific spot in which he logged wood, at the very location was a tall, straight tree, each time he came to work he would look at the tree with contentment. He cut all the mature trees surrounding the tree and left it standing alone. One morning he found the tree cut by a neighbor, he got disappointed and confronted the neighbor, they ended up creating boundaries to signify identity and ownership (Wallace, 2016). Therefore just like caring for a person, there is an established feeling of care and protection. In the world today this can be compared to the environmentalists whose actions that are aimed at conserving nature and the environment in its entirety (Kretz, 2016).
In connection to caring for nature, the human element is also demonstrated by the urge to protect it. In as much as natural products such as trees and wild animals seem valuable to the humans when dead, they are well considered relatively valuable alive and protected. However, the good will protection that does not have a vested interest like commonly attributed to the world today. At the 17th century the connections established was pure and selfless, people at the time had no idea the contribution of nature to the purity of the environment (Wallace, 2016). Therefore that conservation and protection aspect that people demonstrate to nature is one of the demonstrations of affection and enlightenment to nature.
Karandashev, V. (2017). Further Developments of Romantic Love in the Fourteenth Through Nineteenth Centuries. In Romantic Love in Cultural Contexts , 97-129.
Kretz, L. (2016). Environmental Skill: Motivation, Knowledge, and the Possibility of a Non-Romantic Environmental Ethics by Mark Coeckelbergh. Ethics & the Environment, 21(1) , 109-118.
Wallace, M. L. (2016). Enlightening romanticism, romancing the enlightenment: British novels from 1750 to 1832. London: Routledge.