What Aboriginal people can teach us about connecting with nature

Aboriginal people have a profound connection to nature – the land as they often call it.

In Aboriginal cultures around the world it’s an affinity, an understanding and a wisdom that’s been passed from generation to generation. In Australia, it’s something that helped Aboriginal people survive 50,000 years.

These videos begin with Bob Randall, a Yankunytjatjara elder and traditional owner of Uluru (Ayre’s Rock). He explains the idea of living with the land rather than off it. That we don’t own the land. It owns us.

As Bob reminds us no-one has been here as long as the land – no human or creature. We are on this Earth temporarily. Every individual’s time will end, but the land will still be here.

If you look at the world this way it starts to change your thinking. You realise that we have a responsibility to care for the land for our children and the generations to come. That we are merely custodians.

That we are not separate from nature. We come from nature and we will return to nature.

For Aboriginal people this connection gives them their identity and a sense of belonging. Nature sustains them physically, spiritually, socially, culturally.

There’s a humility and holistic perspective the rest of the world could learn from. Not only to do a better job of looking after the environment, but also to look after ourselves.

Have Western cultures and developing countries lost their connection to nature? It’s something we’re exploring. If you have any thoughts of your own let us know in the comments.

Related posts
This post is part of a series we’re doing on connecting with nature. Check out our other posts:
Richard Louv on ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’
Why we need to get kids into nature (quotable quotes from Richard Louv)

Recommended videos
If you’d like to see more videos on connecting with nature check out our other collections:
TED Talks on connecting with nature
The School of Life on nature and living more at peace

You can also see the videos at the start of this post as a list on YouTube.

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