We’re All Connected to Everything
You might not be surprised that we are all connected. There are lots of theories about the depths of our connectivity. For example, one of the most famous theories of connectivity is the Six Degrees of Separation. This theory states that everything within the world, specifically people, are connected within six steps of “friend to friend” statements. However, we are also connected to more than just people; we are connected to the air we breathe, the animals that existed far before we were born, and the ecosystem we exist within.
Have you heard of “Biosphere 2?” If not, you should definitely listen to Jane Poynter, one of the individuals who lived in Biosphere 2, talk more about it and the impact each tiny part of the biosphere had on everything around it. In short, Biosphere 2 was an all-inclusive ecosystem that several human beings agreed to live inside for two years. Biosphere provided a way for us to measure the impacts each action had on the environment inside the Biosphere. Evenmoreso, Biosphere 2 allowed us to measure the impacts each action in Biosphere 1 had on everything else in Biosphere 1. Well, guess what Biosphere 1 is? Earth! Earth is Biosphere 1, and all of us have signed up to live inside this ecosystem indefinitely. So, isn’t it worthwhile to understand our impact on that ecosystem?
One example of the connectivity of everything on earth is the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone National Park. Not too long ago, the trees and grass and every growing thing within the park were dying. Why? Because the deer kept eating it, then the birds were leaving, the water changed the way it flowed, the beavers left, and so on. Every part of the park’s ecosystem was changing and not for the better. Enter the wolves. The wolves, as wolves will do, started killing some of the deer. Because the deer were now being hunted, they began to avoid sections of the park where they were the easily targeted. This allowed the vegetation in those areas of the park to begin to grow again. Soon, other life returned to the park; the beavers returned, the birds came back, and so on. Most interestingly, even the water within the park changed how it flowed which impacted life inside the park in a lot of ways. To learn more about the full extent to which wolves impacted the ecosystem of Yellowstone National Park, listen to George Monbiot talk about it here.
Arguably one of the coolest things learned from the Biosphere 2 experiment is to what extent our breath impacts our environment. If you haven’t already, seriously go listen to Jane talk about Biosphere 2. While in the biosphere, the participants began to run out of oxygen to breathe. Eventually, they discovered it was due to the cement in the biosphere. However, this discovery shows that even the breath we breathe has an impact on the space around us, the ecosystem, and the entire earth.
Breath is the beginning of what connects us all, impacts us all and everything that surrounds us. Though breath seems insignificant, it begins a chain reaction that has effects centuries from now. From this truth, we can assume that our breath has the power to do more than change our environment; it has the power to change lives.
So remember this, each breath we take matters. If not to us, then to everything that surrounds us.
-This post was inspired by TED Radio Hour, “Everything Is Connected,” published FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2018.
To learn more about our academics or to contact a member of our admissions staff, click here.