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When it's man against nature, who really wins?
Senior moments
Rich DeLong is the executive director of Station Exchange Senior Care. - photo by File photo

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity." Psalm 133:1

There are times in my life now where I long for the days of years gone by. I’m sure there are many about my age or a bit older who wish the same. Times are just so different now.

My father used to say that the world has not changed, people have. I often wondered how he managed to separate the world and the people living in it.

Are we not what the world is? I’m pretty sure our creator intended for humankind and the world to live peacefully together as one. Wow, where did all that go?

William Wordsworth, a major English romantic poet, was born in the United Kingdom in 1770. His mother died when he was only 7, and his father passed away when he was 13, leaving Wordsworth and his four siblings orphans.

Wordsworth went on to study at St. John’s College in Cambridge. Before his final semester, he set out on a walking tour of Europe, an experience that influenced both his poetry and his political sensibilities.

Elizabeth Hoskins, dean of women at the University of Louisville from 1918-1924, presented her dissertation for obtaining her master’s degree on the relationship of man and nature in Wordsworth’s poetry.

She wrote, "After searching the mysterious depths of his own impulses and experiences, Wordsworth is convinced that man has within himself all the elements necessary to perfect his life, if only he will follow nature steadfastly as his guide, so that he may show him how to learn the great lesson of living."

Hoskins continues about Wordsworth, "His profound and original conviction is that between man and nature exists a harmonious consciousness, a mystic interdependence and strength … Thus it was Wordsworth’s special mission to interpret rather than describe, and he dedicated his life to show how the life of human spirit interprets the life of nature."

Wordsworth foresaw that man’s materialism, greed and shortsightedness would persist and continue to wreak havoc on nature.

Wordsworth may have been right all along. Is it possible that we have been irresponsible as to see that what we destroy is the very resource from which our material wealth comes from?

Have we been ignorant of our destructive ways?

Nature has been helpless much of that time. But things seem to be changing.

Has nature turned the tide against us? Environmental degradation has led to depletion of marine resources, flooding in some areas and droughts in others. The fires, mudslides, earthquakes and hurricanes that we have recently experienced – with nature’s revengeful wrath, is it now man that is helpless?

Could Dad have been wrong? Maybe because people have not changed but that the world has.

Then again, what about the change in how we think and act today versus yesteryear? And what we are experiencing as a result of our changing society?

The recent school shooting in Florida is just one of many societal ills we need to address head on.

But probably our most concerning issue that will determine if we can overcome all that we face is our divisiveness as a people and country.

The Greek fabulist Aesop, told the story of "The Four Oxen and the Lion." In the end the lion divides the four oxen and their fate is evident. He states, "United we stand, divided we fall."

It’s time to be united my friends!

Contact DeLong at 912-531-7867 or email him at

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