The Right to Nature

I once heard a song, written by a man who had spent 25 years in jail. He claims he is innocent, but the system found otherwise. We may never never, but that is not important. What is important, is his song. It was about a little patch of grass that he could see if he craned his neck at just the right angle while looking out his barred window. The patch of grass was more alive than him, and it provided him hope. To this day, he owes his survival to that patch of grass, as it reminded him that there still was life in the world.

That really touched me. I know that I take for granted all the trees and parks and lawns and flowers that surround me, but I could not live without them. I like to see more green than gray and black. Because of our history, it seems to me that it should be a basic human right to be able to enjoy nature and the outdoors. In prison, inmates often get one hour a day outside. One hour of fresh air, in a prison complex that is not at all conducive to thriving nature. That is downright disgusting.

Is it a warranted punishment? When someone does something wrong to another person or to society, do they deserve to get nature stricken from them? I don’t think so. Being able to be outside and see trees and plants and dirt keeps us connected to the Earth and keeps us sane. And these people are already being punished enough, stricken from society, work, friends, family and all individual pleasures. They need something to live for, why not something natural.

Humans came from nature and it is in our blood to like it. It is deteriorating to our minds to be locked up in a concrete cell without fresh air, without seeing the sun, without feeling the grass. These are pleasures to all, and they should be rights.



One response to “The Right to Nature

  1. Just to clarify, not everyone deserves this. Criminals who commit heinous crimes such as murders, rapes and attempts at those things do not by any means. I think that the reason nature is so important to criminals is that while prison punishes, nature rehabilitates. Maybe flowers and butterflies and sunshine can take hardened criminals and prevent them from being repeat offenders.

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