A small cardinal hurries to gather twigs to stitch together a home, where she would spend the next few weeks raising her young ones who would cry endlessly while waiting for their mother to bring home scraps of food.
However, before she gets to raise her chicks, and eventually, bid them goodbye as they’ll fly to their fates, she must pursue a heated battle with birds of other species for the perfect spot on the branch of the densest of trees, assuring safety from predators.
They settle their dispute soon, once they find that the sturdy mahogany tree is perfectly capable of harbouring many families in its covert spots. This is amusing to human spectators, on their leisurely walks, staring into space and basking in the glory of the cool breeze.
Unfortunately, the little cardinal would be the last of its line to weave a nest on the mighty tree, for the next year it would be cut down along with thousands more around the world, paving way for ever-expanding cities and factories catering to the wants of billions.
It’s humbling, yet in equal measure quite disheartening to dwell on the thought that a mighty forest which has stood the test of time, lived through fires, perilous tremors of the earth, expanded the crowns of trees staunchly in the wake of torrential rains, absorbed the blood of soldiers at war and provided a final shroud of peace as they breathed their last, can be completely wiped out by mortal men in a matter of weeks.
Humans are blessed with an infinite capacity for intelligence and creation. We have created wonders since we discovered fire, evolving rapidly as generations passed. We have strived to quench the curiosity for life, achieving untold heights in the journey to discover the deepest secrets of the oceans, the atoms of existence, and the universe itself.
However, in the quest for knowledge and comfort, we have also developed a taste for destruction and honed our brains with the idea that it is acceptable to achieve comfort through destruction. We tell ourselves that it’s probably fine to cut one more tree or take some more coal. After all, there must be more from where it came from!
Unfortunately, like all physical things in existence, nature too is finite and has its limits. We have already lost a large portion of it, leading to a substantial change for the worse in climate which in turn affects the flora and fauna. This has been discussed incessantly and is known to every child on the face of the planet. Yet, it is astounding that the greed for power among the wealthy, and the general indifference among the common folk, reigns supreme.
It’s a sore sight, as we walk down a dusty road, grumbling about the stiff, clammy weather of the tiresome dusk, spotting a lone cardinal perched desolately on a slab of a building. It is a food for thought that humans have evolved and achieved unprecedented heights of greatness. Yet, is it of any value compared to the time when the world was a better place and we’d yet to discover fire?
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Hello, I am Vijayashri Menon, a law graduate and a history and literature geek.
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