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Pondering the paradox

By Melissa Hekkers

I had the choice of either marking the arrival of spring or the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Brussels this week. Needless to say that nature prevailed and the sun’s rays accompanied me as I turned a blind eye to last year’s event.

Yet the urge to face the paradox between the nature of our environment now prospering as spring makes its way to our doors, and the nature of human beings as we tentatively come to grasp what mankind is capable of, is hard to shake off.

The natural world has a mysterious way of manifesting itself, indeed. Whether we are talking about the nature of our environment or our own as human beings, it’s got to be said that both of these are capable of extremes.

The snow on the Sahara desert this winter comes to mind when thinking of an example that can illustrate environmental extremes. The decision by the Trump administration in the US, which imposed a new restriction on electronic devices carried by travellers coming to the United States from 10 airports – mainly in the Middle East and North Africa in response to unspecified terror threats – is the other example I propose for our extreme human nature.

What’s that all about?
It seems we’re somewhat stuck in between these extremes, incapable of boosting our own nature in order to potentially address these phenomena. What’s for sure is that both of these occurrences mentioned will, at some point, entice some form of reaction. I would like to think that the majority of us would like to stop climate change on the one hand, and address discrimination based on nationality on the other.

Unfortunately, it seems that these games are only addressed when things really get out of hand. In this case, either when we will finally acknowledge the real damage we have been imposing on our planet for decades. Or when restrictions come to knock on our own European identity. How our nature will react then, remains to be seen. Enjoy the spring before the shift to summer drowns us in heat.

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