I recently read the article, The Day A Dozen Parents and Children Killed a Shark for a Selfie, and I found myself questioning my level of interactivity with nature. Granted, I've never been one to harm nature as this article illustrates how some others may do, but I think the reality of our situation is quite alarming.
The commotion continued, and curiosity got the best of me. I nonchalantly weaved between the blankets, just so happening to meander in the direction of the crowd. I leered over the hairy backs and damp towels flung around necks to see a man clutching a baby shark by its tail. He was grinning, delivering a thumbs up to his wife.
A few heads turned my way, then returned back to taking photos. My cheeks began to burn as I stood in front of the man, my hands waving, blocking the cameras. "This shark is dying. You guys are literally killing this shark for a photo, can't you see that?" I asked. A sea of cameras, iPhones and iPads stared back at me. The crowd waited for me to move so they could resume their important work of proving they saw a shark. Dead or alive, it didn't matter. It'd be liked on Facebook and Instagram either way.
My father has always been a lover of the great outdoors, taking all his children out to the beach, go hiking, or see the mountains of Taiwan and Japan. So the seed was planted and that love for nature did blossom within me, but when did it start to whither? The answer I believe is lies somewhere between hanging out with friends in high school and entering the work force after university, that I completely lost touch with nature. I have become so immersed in the digital world that the real one around me began to lose it's luster.
At this very moment all I can think of is when my dad took me snorkeling out in the reefs of Hawaii when I was around 8 or 10 years old, and remembering the beauty that is nature. Recalling the tiny fish swimming around my feet and just the amount of vibrant colors hiding beneath the blue of the ocean. I hope that from here on out, I'll be better about basking in the nature that is all around me and appreciating it's beauty rather than drowning in a sea of pixels. Further more, when the time comes that I have kids, my hope and prayers are that they will be able to enjoy nature rather than treat it like an estranged cousin.