At one time, we felt our kinship with other beings more profoundly… perhaps you still do.
Your favorite animal as a child, the one that appears in your dreams, or a moment when you felt a powerful sense of community and interconnection with other people, or with the earth itself.
My own childhood explorations inspired animal love and advocacy, and a continuing appreciation for the solace found in nature.
From cascading hillsides dripping with trilliums, to the creaking wooden floorboards in our small town library, my smaller self and her curiosities still drive me, but my window on the world has opened wide, and the implications of failing as stewards of the planet are becoming more and more evident. If you don’t feel connected to and a part of “nature”, if it feels like something outside or separate from you, then you have just tapped into the essential problem facing human beings. Collectively, we are not behaving like an intelligent species at all.
A new wave in education, globally, although not consistently, is informed by this idea of disconnection. “Nature deficit disorder” is the term coined by Dr. Richard Louv, in his book: Last Child In The Woods. We all need more time outside, truly. It really can be that simple. The rewards are immediate…
We can foster a human society with an interest in moving beyond a sense of entitlement and toward a sense of responsibility.
We can validate the teachings of Indigenous People; the value of humility and reverence.
We can attempt to experience a balanced, instinctive, symbiotic relationship with our environment.
We can strive to live more simply, taking only what we need, thinking in terms of reciprocity.
We can search for what we have in common with all beings, rather than what separates us.