Phobias are aversions or fears which people experience due to their environment – many of which can not be controlled.
Philias, on the contrary, are the positive associations people experience towards other living things, species, varying habitats, processes and objects in their natural surroundings.
Biophilia is the Love of Life – so Aristotle hypothesised. He summised that the evoking of reciprocity, common in friendships, is of benefit to both parties (similar to Symbiosis) in a multitude of ways; primarily in the form of happiness.
Terrapin Bright Green is a design house that so firmly believes in the benefits of the interactions between humans and plants, that they have built a 14 Point list, called the 14 Patterns of Biophilia, which they incorporate into every school, wellness centre, urban park, campus, residence and property they design.
These points include the visual presence of plants and the inclusion of water, and span to the Material connection with nature.
These fascinating design principles can be further investigated |HERE|.
So how does this relate to the plant and animal world?
Evolution dictates that we inherently have grown to care for nature. Whether we have desired to save a wild animal in distress or look after a plant within our home environments, this desire is pure biology.
Our ancestors were compelled to hunt for their food, over time learning and adapting to note the nutritious qualities of food. These plant and animal varieties were of value, and hence were nurtured.
We have now lessened the need to nurture animals and plants purely to consume them, and have grown to care for them as relatable creatures that we feel affection for.
In a modern world we crave connection
We are far removed, in daily lives, from nature. We are pent up in tall offices, kids spend their times in front of screens, and we spend free time in malls and other concrete spaces.
This lack of connection with nature oftentimes leads to a desensitized disregard for other living things. This is where ecosystem damage, degradation and the loss of rare species becomes an issue.
Species, plants, animals, organisms and processes.
The solution is to increase connection.
A recognition that Philia (a brotherly love) for Biology (where the Bio fits in) is an integral step in our re-connection to all things natural – and indeed a step in the right direction for humanity.
An increased connection with nature has enhanced importance in the conservation sector. Cities need to include more green spaces. Schools need to focus on nature, conservation, sustainability and biodiversity.
A Biophilic City is an optimally designed green city with ecosystems that inter-link and enhance each other. With design capabilities and current technology, these cities are possible. Imagined “wildlife corridors”, aiding in the migrational and territorial paths of animals, are now more a reality than ever – if only man would get out of the path.
When it comes to Plants
Honing in on the domestic nature of living – we all love a good indoor plant.
Many of us adore nurturing a green wall or a veggie patch.
Some of us get excited at the presence of a new leaf poking out of a much nurtured herb pot, or the revival of a once dormant plant.
This desire to nurture is easily fulfilled by the simple acts of caring for, watering and attending to plants. Our veggie patches come alive after the rains and we celebrate the harvest. New leaves unfurl to form dramatic new growth, and elation levels increase!
Serotonin and dopamine levels, which have been linked to plants too, spike, regulating mood and stimulating the brains pleasure and reward stimuli.
To read more about the fascinating link between plants and neurobiology, their ability to remember, think and feel pain, click |HERE|
The obvious conclusion is that humans love and need plants!
We are drawn to them, caring for them makes us feel good – we benefit as much from their well being as they do from our care.
Our love for living things is essentially what draws us to the plant and animal kingdom – and our ability to nurture them more than we nurture ourselves will be the determining factor when it comes to the wellness of our Planet going forward.