Mother Earth? Mother?
Anthropomorphising for care
Mother Earth. Such love in just these two words. You can literally hear Sir David Attenborough’s voice as you see the slo-mo breeze blowing through trees and birds chirping just as you read it.
When did we start personifying the Earth? Mother Earth?
Since childhood, this personalisation has led this thought in my head:
Thousands of years ago, we people sure knew to respect Mother Nature. We were powerless then. We were small, didn’t even know how to talk and stand up straight. Mother cared for us equally as She did for our other animal siblings. Some of our siblings were older. We started growing up slowly, started learning things from them and Mother. We started making things from the stuff our Mother gave us. Our siblings still couldn’t talk. They were quite dumb in our opinion. We at many stages decided that they are not worthy of our Mother’s offerings and we rapidly decreased their play area.
Heck, we even decided to kill them. Sometimes, kill them just for fun. We thought Mother isn’t watching. She was.
She did slap us frequently by means of earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, etc. thinking that we would get better with a few beatings. Little did She know that we weren’t going to budge. We continued with making things that excited us. Now, even if Mother didn’t give us the raw materials, we found ways to snatch it from Her. She didn’t know what to do though.
‘Look at the ground, eat these fruits, eat these vegetables that I’m giving you!’ She said.
‘No! Give me a hamburger!’ we said.
By now we were teenagers. Back answering our Mother seemed to be our birth right. With making things, we embraced materialism, that became our new found love. As we were growing older and stronger, Mother started feeling powerless. Not in terms of might, but in terms of who She had given birth to.
Her constant disapproval with our actions even raised the heat in our home. By now we had almost eradicated our siblings and now we started fighting amongst each other because of our beliefs.
She repeatedly reminded us to protect our siblings, to protect our home, there is no other like it.
Does this resonate with you? I’m in tears every single time.
When did the modern world stress on attributing the Earth as a human? And a mother at that? Was it when we started realising our collective destructive mentality and wanted to generate empathy in people? And why mother?
Perhaps first used term for Mother Earth was in Greco-Roman Empire, referring to the attributes of goddesses of Creating and Nurturing life in its deepest sense. That was the perceived role of the feminine? Oh, this is heading into treacherous waters, lets get out.
It is more so a poetic approach to referring the Earth isn’t it. Prose and poems have several reasons for existence. Amongst many of them, proliferation of a common problem is one that ranks high. Problems that groups of people have to face and the solutions revolving it. Common problems brings people closer. In this case the problem here is that of the environmental destruction. To emphasise how the destruction that we cause, will be the cause of our destruction, we needed a guardian figure — a mother. To bombard ourselves with the fact that the Earth has nurtured us and literally given us everything, and are all out to destroy all of that.
A mother entails the true form of selfless undying love. No matter how you behave, she will continue to love you and provide food for you.
That doesn’t seem to work now does it?
Times have changed and we have exponentially become more selfish. As in the story above, we’re teenagers, we don’t care about Mother. We don’t even care about other human beings let alone animals and plants; then why would we care about what is effectively a personified inanimate object such as the earth? I think that is where now the transition is coming from. Since this realisation that humans do not care for even other human beings, the narrative towards Mother Earth has changed. It now seems to be more in 2nd person. You are the earth, you are nature. With the hope that if you don’t care about any other humans and other species, at least care about you yourself, you selfish prick.
You don’t inherit the Mother Earth’s resources, you borrow it from your children…
P.S. In certain essence, the bald-headed moon acts as a masculine figure. Staying away from home, causing turbulence back home! I’m sure he’s protecting us by not being with us, or so they say.
If you liked this article, consider reading ‘The Year 420042’ which is a polar opposite of this, but a spin off in some sense.