The most important thing you can do for sustainability – Part 2
In part 1 of this series of posts, I discussed how mentoring and teaching our children is probably the most important thing we can do for supporting sustainability and there was a discussion on being a role model. This piece is related to helping reduce the dissociation that many of our youth have with nature and society.
Our society’s lack of knowledge regarding what goes into the proucts we consume, how things are made, and what happens after we are finished using them is the dissociation factor that impacts our ability to live in a sustainable manner.
In my view, dissociation has two primary facets, knowledge and desire. In our complex world, acquiring knowledge related to the items we consume can be a never-ending task. The desire we have to gain this knowledge controls how eager we are to learn and is key to reducing our dissociation.
As our children grow, the knowledge piece can be handled through either the education they receive in formal school programs or with the supplemental information that you provide. I will cover this in a later piece.
The desire to learn this information is the key. Youth will do exercises in this subject area in school because they have to. Ideally, we would like to change that to because they want to.
Like adults, telling our youth about potential environmental disasters or reciting a bunch of numbers to them are not the best motivators for persuading them to care about the planet. It is hard for them to care about anything if they are not involved with it on a regular basis. If they do not frequently experience nature, witness the impact of our consumption, participate with the elderly, or help those less fortunate, how can we expect them to have the desire to change things for the better?
“Unless we are willing to encourage our children to reconnect with and appreciate the natural world, we can’t expect them to help protect and care for it.”- David Suzuki
The obvious action here would be to get our youth more involved through activities like nature walks or hikes, planting a garden, trips to zoos, joining nature clubs, camping, and more visits to grandparents. But for this to occur we must address the problem of time.
With all the time saving gadgets that are available today, you would think we would have more free time than any humans since the beginning of time. But, sadly, I do not believe this is true. If anything, life seems to be getting busier and busier.
Children who have a close bond with their grandparents show increased positive social skills, improved self-esteem and have less anxiety and depression .
For our youth and ourselves to get more “in touch” with nature and society, we need to make it priority. Just like we want our youth to have music lessons and take part on sports teams, we need to prioritize “getting in touch” time, plan for it regularly and make it happen.
We are not done yet… Next week I will post another installment in this series.
If you found this interesting, you may want to take a look at my new non-fiction book “Feasible Planet – A guide to more sustainable living” (it is even available in the Kindle Unlimited Program) or my eco-fiction series “Percipience“. The electronic version of the first book in this series, “2022“, is permafree.
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