Connecting with Nature Very few people know that the book An Area of Darkness by V.S. Naipaul was banned in India in 1964 for its negative portrayal of India and its people. In this book, Naipaul asks a group of young IAS officers from Uttar Pradesh why they had joined the IAS. All of them replied that it is a prestigious job. None of them said that it was to serve. Similarly, if some one asks us why we should we connect with nature, we may answer differently. There are many reasons why we need to connect with nature. At individual level, it helps us to remain healthy, lively and also enhances our spiritual well-being. At societal level, it helps us to understand and act for sustainable development. As Peter Kareiva of The Nature Conservancy says:â€If people never experience nature and have negligible understanding of the services that nature provides, it is unlikely that people will choose a sustainable future.â€That is why, the theme of Environment Day, 2017 (June 5, 2017) was decided as: â€˜Connecting People with Nature.â€™ There are three aspects of connecting with nature: 1. What are the different ways in which we can connect or reconnect with nature? 2. What are the processes which enable us to connect with nature in a genuine and effective manner? 3. What are the positive consequences of connecting with nature? People who live in cities and are surrounded by digital devices like laptops, mobile phones and ipads, find neither the time nor the opportunities for connecting with nature. They have what Richard Louv has called Nature Deficit Disorder. (The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the end of Nature deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. 2011) .NDD affects health, spiritual well-being and many other areas including peopleâ€™s ability to feel ultimately alive. However, there are many ways in which city dwellers can connect with nature. This applies both to the children as well as to adults. These are as follows: 1. Go for a walk in a local park. Nature walk is somewhat different from a walk meant exclusively for health. To connect with nature, walk slowly, breathe slowly and observe nature more. Explore the flowers and plants; go to all the nook and corners of the park. Set off on a tour of the park. (a). Slow down, rather than walk briskly. Observe and create awareness.â€There is nothing people differ more than in their powers of observation .Some are only half aliveâ€ - - -John Burroughs, an American author and Naturalist. (b). Listen attentively and carefully. (c). we become aware of our biological clocks within, our cycles of sleepiness and wakefulness, our psychological cycles. This happens in a pronounced manner when we watch the same spot in different frame of mind. (d). All nature is interconnected. This applies to our relationships .Conflict is an inevitable part of nature .Learn to accept conflict and conflict â€“resolution natural. (e). We learn to read time when we have discovered that nature itself allows us to distinguish each moment from those that came before and after it. We will never get a chance to witness anything in exactly the same way twice. You may exercise outdoors. If it is not possible to go to a park daily, spend a weekend in the park. 2. Photogaph nature. Take pictures of nature and share them. Find a place to sit in the park (Sit Spot) and have a view of natural landscape and see what pictures you can take. 3. Keep your windows open. Have a connect with nature. Watch sun rise in the early morning or a sunset in the evening. Read the sky in its different colours. 4. Bring green to your home. Grow plants and vegetables indoors. Keep bird-feeders at home. This will bring birds and butterflies around. 5. Plant a tree, at least one tree every year. Also hug a tree. 6. Visit places of eco-tourism significance .Visit forests, mountains, oceans, beaches, doing hiking, trekking, walking, climbing, exploring .Visit rivers and water bodies. Meet water. Go boating and rafting. Go to bird sanctuaries for bird-watching (Birding). Purchase binoculars. Watch migration and mass movements of birds. Go to National Parks. 7. At local level, go to Zoo, Science Park, Botanical Garden, or a nature centre. Opt for picnic outdoors. 8. Do green shopping .Buy organic food and products and encourage organic farming. Forage for wild foods. 9. Encourage nature learning in schools. 10. Join a good conservation organization to clean up pollution, or to care for stray animals, or to rescue broken-winged birds or to restore green spaces. Volunteer for the projects launched by such organizations. 11. Develop interest in natural medicines and herbs. Start a natural medicine cabinet for sleep, skin or acne. 12. Do composting if you have some space. 13. Start a nature journal. Write your experiences and observations on nature in this journal. 14. Read books, stories and watch movies about nature. Watch nature TV. Read books about oceans, astronomy and cosmology. 15. Read and take part in wildlife surveys. 16. Encourage the use of technology to protect wildlife and nature. Use drones, cameras, GPS devices to check illegal logging, illegal mining and poaching. 17. Write about nature. 18. Raise your voice about nature. Sign petitions about such causes. 19. Celebrate Days to celebrate different aspects of nature and environment like Environment Day, Earth Day, and Biodiversity Day and so on. 20. See where your garbage go. Positive consequences of connecting with nature: When we connect with Nature, changes start occurring in us. How we perceive things, how we think, how we feel and how we actâ€”all these things change. These changes in turn encourage us to invest more in the process of reconnecting with nature. In this way, the cycle strengthens. Some of the positive consequences are; 1. We become more generous. 2. Our self-esteem and capacity for conflict resolution improves. 3. Our memory improves and our attention span increases. 4. We become calmer. 5. For many, reconnecting with nature works as anti-depressant. 6. It improves our relationships with family and friends (Author Richard Louv.) 7. It introduces a balance between technology and nature. 8. It encourages us to invest time in contemplation. It helps us to trace connection between organisms and ourselves. 9. A humility comes with an interest in nature. Nature can humble us with our ignorance. 10. An appreciation of nature enhances a fascination with the most ordinary of things. 11. A connection with nature gives an interesting experience and enables us to find things interesting. This in turn makes us interesting. Then we achieve more interesting things. Though there are many good books on this subject, I recommend 2: 1. The Nature Principle â€“Human Restoration and the End of Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv (2011). 2. How to connect with Nature by Tristan Gooley (The School of Life book). Connecting with nature is a very healthy and spiritually uplifting way of living for an individual and it helps to protect and preserve our environment and ecology .We should start this with our youth in schools and at our homes.