The Good Life: A History by abigail stoll

Nature on Display

An exhibit I found particularly interesting is shown here with a family standing outside their village home in a life similar yet different than what we experience. This kept my attention by capturing the everyday life of an Indian in pre-colonial America, which I could then parallel to that of today. The most interesting part for me was to see the strong familial bond, which existed and may be forgotten in present day in exchange for more “exciting” times. I came to the realization that these people utilized what they could from nature and asserted their place in the circle of life without vanity or excess. I learned this from the use of seashells on which their home was built and their seemingly-humble life. Spending time at the museum allowed me to intentionally learn and be enveloped in nature-past, present, and future possibilities. I enjoy imagining the past because it is where the world has come, and shows us where it might continue to go.

Nature and Ethics

Visiting the Natural History Museum provided me a chance to experience myself as a member of the diverse world we live in. Care is taken in each exhibit to maintain its integrity and an understanding. From taking time to accentuate details, we turn away from ourselves to admire the land and all inhabitants-past or present. As I made my way through the museum, I felt particularly attached to the exhibit of the prehistoric horse because of my experience with horses. Observing creatures that once “ruled the Earth” makes me aware of the role of humanity and the influence of every creature. My visit helped me to realize the comfort in knowing that all things end up being remembered similarly, and there’s nothing we can do to seem more indispensable than any other species. People can interact with nature by stepping into a cave and experiencing the sights and sounds of a world otherwise unknown to us. In addition to this, there are historically interactive games, which I remember as instilling a fervent curiosity in myself as a child. Whenever I visit a museum, I’m amazed by the sheer wonder of what the world consists of. Visiting whilst being mindful of my experience enhanced my appreciation and determination to do all I could to promote respect and love of nature.

Nature and the Human Spirit

The Natural History Museum allows us to step from our lives to a variety of others by taking a journey in a role unique to their own. Doing this introduces the feelings people or even animals may have felt in that era. Connecting people with commonalities between themselves and the past can result in a greater understanding that they aren’t so different, and that they are truly a part of something important. There is so much unknown in the world; just as there was millions of years ago and will be in millions of years, and it’s important that humans do our part to conserve the beautiful planet and creatures that we temporarily are a part of. Simply being in nature is the gift of a lifetime, one given to every organism, and in that, all are at peace.

Credits:

Created with images by MiguelVieira - "Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park Prairie Basin Observation Tower trail" • jared422_80 - "Gainesville - Florida Museum of Natural History - Cave Exhibit - Stalactites" • enor - "Waterfall"

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