VOX POPULI: Human actions cause chaos, not harmony in the environment

Cosmos, which is the name of the colorful flowers that bloom in autumn, is also a word for the universe (or the world), and the word comes from a Greek word meaning order and harmony.

Cosmos flowers were so named because of the beauty of the orderly arrangement of their petals.

Order can be felt not only from the petals, but also from the sight of the clusters of cosmos growing all over the fields.

A haiku by Fusako Mogi goes in this direction: “Looking at the cosmos / I too am swinging”.

It is a happy time, indeed, when you are surrounded by flowers or trees and feel like you are one with them.

It is believed that the ancient Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who believed in the harmonious and orderly nature of the universe, used the word cosmos to refer to the universe. Incidentally, an antonym of cosmos is chaos.

It seems humans created chaos, not the cosmos, for Mother Nature.

The Anthropocene, an expression that we have begun to hear often, summarizes the process of drastic metamorphosis of nature by man.

Plastics that don’t degrade naturally destroy the ecosystem while greenhouse gases raise sea levels.

It was the French philosopher Blaise Pascal (1623-1662) who wrote: “Man is a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed”.

But as long as humans continue the violent act of environmental destruction, impersonating a reed can be a form of impersonation.

What about the “reflection” part? We humans have overstepped the bounds of nature, so to speak, but we can’t just stop being human.

Our only alternative is to keep thinking about how to be in harmony with nature and what each of us can do.

–The Asahi Shimbun, September 27

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Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that covers a wide range of topics, including culture, the arts, and social trends and developments. Written by veteran writers from Asahi Shimbun, the column offers helpful perspectives and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.

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