Yesterday I was thrilled to discover that the condition I have happily suffered from for most of my life has a name: it’s called ‘Biophilia’.
Most children have a bug period, and I never grew out of mine.
— Edward O. Wilson, Naturalist
The word was first used by the social psychologist Erich Fromm to describe a healthy ‘life-loving’ attitude. But in his 1984 book Biophilia, Harvard University entomologist Edward O. Wilson published his hypothesis that humans are innately attracted to other species and inclined to love nature. Here is a fascinating interview with Wilson.
I also firmly believe that children do have this innate love, and that ‘biophilia’ can be aroused easily in those who do not have it yet, simply by introducing them to little creatures. With every educational event this belief gets confirmed.
When people love, they become invested. When their heart is invested, they want to protect and nurture. It is the heart that motivates us to pro-environmental action.
Not fear. Not necessarily zealous environmentalism, nor dispassionate facts. But faith that something can be done, hope that we will succeed, and most of all … biophilia: the love for all living things.
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.
— 1 Corinthians 13:13