The Land Ethic by Aldo Leopold

The image commonly employed in conservation education is “the balance of nature.” (Pg.68)

I remember back in elementary, maybe fifth grade to be exact, I was first familiarized with the theory “the balance of nature.” The theory itself, is very powerful because it means that everything in nature is balanced and thats very important for the survival of the human population. Too many of one things has an affect on an other thing. this goes in hand with humans, plants and animals, anything related to nature. For example, too much rain causes a flood and too little rain causes a drought. Like I mentioned before, having a balanced in nature is important for the survival of the human population; the air, trees, plants, animals are all placed perfectly to help us and sustain us as a species. For example, us as humans need the consumption of air, water, animals and plants in order to survive, not specifically one certain thing. Our survival is balanced where we need a little of everything to survive.

Land, then, is not merely soil; it is the foundation of energy flowing through a circuit of soils, plants, and animals. (Pg. 69)

When I came across this quote, I pictured a cycle of the land in which the soil, plants and animals were all connected and what keeps the cycle going is the land. The land is where soil, plants and animals stand on and without it there wouldn’t be a surface to stand firm on. The land gives these resources the energy needed for its sustainability and survival. The reason why they all connect in the cycle is because animals need plants and plants need soil and soil needs the decomposition of animals to help fertilizing and so on. The cycle then starts again, just as the human cycle we are born, develop as adults, grow old and eventually die and the we return back to the soil where we came from, according to biblical records.

Robinson’s injunction to Tristram may well be applied, at this juncture, to Homo sapiens as a species in geological time: Whether you will or not you are a king, Tristram, for you are one of the time-tested few that leave the world, when they are gone, not the same place it was. Mark what you leave. (Pg. 75)

I really like the comparison that Robinson made between Tristram and homo sapiens in geological time. The exert itself speaks a lot for itself. Personally, I liked the last sentence of the comparison “mark what you leave.” These small, yet powerful words leave an impact in my life, which in my opinion is the meaning for which those four letter words stand for. Mark what you leave, meaning leave an impact on the world and on others. It also makes me think of when someone touches someones heart in such way that changes them. As human beings we are constantly tested with trials and situations that come our way, yet it is our reactions to these things that marks who we are. We can either react in a good, conqueror way or in a defeated way by the trials that over come us. We all have a choice; a choice to mark what we leave.


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