Zoe Weil is a blogger for Psychology Today (PT), and twice a month we share her blog posts here. Enjoy!

We tend to protect and care for who and what we love.

Ask any parent if they would be willing to sacrifice themselves to save their child, and they’ll likely answer yes.

I had the opportunity to experience this firsthand when hiking in a mountain forest with my then 9-year-old son. A sudden storm moved in, and when I heard the loud crack of a tree about to fall near us, I immediately pushed my son to the ground and braced myself over him on hands and knees. If a tree had actually fallen on us, my rash act would not have saved him, but the protective instinct kicked in long before I thought consciously about whether to risk my life for him.

That’s because I love my son.

In the face of environmental destruction and escalating rates of species extinction, we need to fall in love with the natural world. Doing so will help provide the motivation to do what it takes to protect and restore our beautiful Earth.

psychology today