Saturday, 16 August 2014

The key to survival

"...a place where knowing your environment is the key to survival." *

We rarely think about how our knowledge of our surroundings is a matter of life or death. We reserve that for people living in the more out-of-the-way places, where the weather is more severe, and the natural landscape hazardous.

But it's not quite true.

I know that if I walk across a certain road at the wrong time, my life is in danger. I know that this particular alleyway is narrow and dark and should be avoided at night. I know to be wary of certain wild animals. I know that these berries are tasty and these berries are deadly poisonous. I know how to keep food so that it won't go off. I know, more or less, the things which will help me preserve my life and those which will bring it to a more rapid end than I'd wish.

This is true for me, someone who lives on the edge of a medium town in a pleasant county.

Knowing our environment is always a key to survival, wherever it is. We need to understand that our environment isn't somewhere 'out there' where the wild things are, and see that it's here, right where we are.

* I took this from the concluding statement of BBC's Human Planet episode, Arctic life: in the deep freeze. It's currently available to watch on iPlayer:

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