When man's needs are discussed one thinks of the basics; food, water, shelter, air. Although these are our physical needs for survival, often overlooked is the need for love and connectedness. David Suzuki addresses this issue in chapter seven of his book The Sacred Balance.
Love goes beyond the affections of a man and wife or of mother to child. It expands to community and nature. Love is more than just an emotion. It is an essential need mapped into everyone's DNA. Affection during developmental years, even as early as conception, is required for children to grow into socially capable adults. Affection is needed throughout our lifetime in order for us to pass on this ability to the children. With out love we will grow up empty, not knowing how to properly function not only in society, but we lose the ability to connect with nature and grasp its importance.
Throughout our history, until recently, man was a group of hunter gatherers. We worked together in harmony with our surroundings. We realized that nature helped provide what was needed for our survival, and in turn we treated her with respect. Now in the days of concrete jungles, metropolitans, and ever growing cities, this connectedness has diminished. Is this because the adults of present time were not given enough love? Were we not taught that the actions we take today will effect our world tomorrow? In some cases, yes.
Love and our connectedness to nature are an invaluable need that is too often overlooked. The pseudo-need for more things has almost overcome our primal instincts for being part of nature. We are a part of the environment, not a separate entity. Love needs to be rekindled in order for our survival. We must reconnect and realize the importance of our actions and non-actions in order to live, not simply survive.