A Change of Perspective

One experience that greatly resonated with me was while sailing on a tall ship program during my youth. I remember sailing during the night in the middle of Lake Huron. It was early in the morning, the sun was on the cusp of rising, and an endless sea of water surrounded the ship. I remember standing on the aft-most deck, alone, listening to the gentle sloshing of the water against the hull under the backdrop of the soft flapping of sails above me. There was a kaleidoscope of stars scattered across the sky, and as the sun started to rise, the horizon was slowly infused with beautiful red, orange and yellow colours. I think this was the first time I felt alone in a part of the world that was relatively unobstructed by human contact. I realized that my perspective of the world had been artificial; I had been confined to an environment designed and built by humankind. I realized that I, and likewise most urban-dwelling people, have been sheltered from the beauty and mystique of the world in its natural form. Moments like this continue to remind me that humans are only small players in a big world and that it is important to sometimes step back and remind myself of that positioning. I think experiences like this have shaped my moral grounding towards making more sustainable choices as I can better appreciate how my actions can make long-lasting environmental impacts that may transcend the conventional human experience.

By: Emma Mew

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