An appreciation of Sri Lanka in my view is not complete without the appreciation of its waterways, tanks and waterfalls as well as the abundant flora and fauna seen everywhere. Accordingly, I feel very strongly that all schools must include the basic aspects of the above in every curriculum, so that all the people in this country appreciate this treasure worth protecting and enhancing as part of being environmentally aware and responsible.
The variety and abundance of trees in the Island are worthy of note. My personal favorites are Kumbuk, Kohomba, Karuwala and Kalumediriya. Kithul, Kos and Coconut should not be forgotten in this sentence either but for different reasons. I will give my reasons at another time, as I digress.
Trees grow without human effort and others are planted. One must bear in mind that we plant for others, not for ourselves. We reap what others have sown. We must give back to ensure those who come after us benefit from what we have left for them, no matter if we receive thanks for out effort.
Humans though they try to be in control of their surroundings rarely have control over their ultimate destiny. Cataclysmic events upset the best-laid plans. We must therefore go about the task of planting be it a Coconut seedling or an Ebony plant for the satisfaction it would give us to take care of it for as long as it is under our care and not contemplate harvesting it.
There is no reason for action without satisfaction, so a tree nourished and pruned under our care so it grows to its full potential should give us a degree of pleasure. The benefit of the final product is incidental. Looking at an upright Neem or Kohomba tree appropriately pruned and trained so that one day it may yield a substantial amount of wood for someone’s use should be satisfaction in itself. I currently benefit so much from the fruit of other people’s labor, I am eternally grateful to them, without whom I would not be able to live like I do or carry on the activity I am currently in.
It is important that we understand our responsibilities for posterity and act accordingly in our daily lives, without which future generations would find it much harder to survive. We have destroyed much of the world’s forests and we must do something to rectify this situation. We have a duty which we must fulfill if we can rightfully justify our existence and the sooner we teach this to all our future generations the faster we can ensure a peaceful passage.