DEEP DIVE160,000 Reasons to Be Open-Minded,Humble and Forgiving
Hmmm, how much do we overlook in our short journey through life and how different would our choices be if we saw even a few layers deeper?I am by nature one of those people who needs to feel they have things under control. Loose
ends nag at me. Unresolved problems worry me. A ‘To Do’ list that is getting longer rather than
shorter pushes me into the red zone on the stress scale.
I’ve become reasonably adept
, or so I permit myself to believe, at throwing a net around my littlecorner of the world to confine it into parameters I can influence. But every now and then, I comeacross a statistic that brings me to a full stop and forces me to ponder its significance.If I tell you the latest case in point involves something as innocuous as moths, you might just rollyour eyes and tune out. But bear with me a moment as I put a few statistics on the table.~ There are over 160,000 species of moths worldwide
over 11,000 in North America alone.~ About 800 new moth species are being identified each year. Admittedly, at face value these statistics seem of little import to anyone other than biologists.But if you ponder them even briefly, they begin to recalibrate your perspective.It is conceivable that many people go through their entire lives without seeing a single moth.Even nature geeks, among whom I count myself, may have only seen a handful of mothspecies.Why? For one very simple reason: the majority of moths are nocturnal. They go about their business while we sleep and take their rest during the day while we scurry through our lives. Wepass by them countless times
camouflaged and perched on plants or the walls of our housesor hidden in leaf litter
with absolutely no clue that they are there.If we overlook hundreds, perhaps thousands, of moths every day of our lives, how much else isthere in the universe of which we are unaware? How limited is our perspective? How many of the assumptions we live our live by are faulty because
we don’t see the forest for the trees?
One of the assumptions I have carried with me is the belief that mankind has pretty thoroughlyexplored the world in which we live and has a pretty good fix on how it works. But if 800 newmoth species are still bein
g discovered and identified each year, it means we’ve really just
scratched the surface of understanding in that respect.The incredible diversity and mysteries of the natural world can be dismissed as nothing morethan curiosities. It is easy to believe that such things are immaterial to our lives and how we livethem. But we are part of the natural world. We influence it and it influences us.You may think my point here is the importance of conservation efforts and the need to reduceour ecological footprint. Those are matters of critical importance.