“Mom, if the Earth dies, we die, that’s why we need to take care of the Earth.” That is what my 5-year-old son said to me one evening after I had been reading aloud and editing my upcoming book OUR HOME, THE EARTH. I was a little shocked by the harshness of his analogy, and it does sound pretty morbid coming from a 5-year-old, but is it not true? While I do want to clarify here that my story is a lot lighter than what this suggests I do have to say that I was touched at that moment that he seemed to “get it” and that the story I had shared, that I had created, made an impression on him.
Children ARE so impressionable and as he sees me doing environmentally healthy things I know these practices he is exposed to can ingrain and become a natural part of his being. Don’t get me wrong I am not perfect in this area but I try to do what’s right. I do care about the Earth but I know that I can give her more attention and respect. Obviously according to my guidance I can do a better job of being aware of my connection with her, as I am nudged to, “Park Here” under a tree and observe. (See previous post, Part I). In general though I feel really caught up in the rote and remote of life, checked out from the bigger picture of being environmentally conscious, and more in tune with what’s easy for me and even just what’s cheaper. In processing this I am quite clear that I do not want this mode of being disconnected to ingrain in my children. I want better for them and also for myself.
Currently we are a family that recycles, has “green” cleaning products, and efficient appliances, and I am that Mom who picks up other people’s garbage, but I know there is more that I could be doing. Simple things, like composting and using re-usable cloth bags consistently. And I know that if I am motivated to do just a little bit more, and a little bit more, that it really does make a difference as it adds up with what you are doing, and what your neighbor is doing, and so on, and so forth. The collective effort is what makes the large-scale difference but the caring starts with one person and I understand that it has to happen organically, if you don’t really feel it, then you don’t really care. I want my children to care; so I am choosing to give more loving attention to this very giving being that homes us all. I feel no shame for any such lack that has preceded this point only a genuine openness to improve through practicing what I value for whom I value, my children and our Earth.
With the release of my upcoming book I feel like there are so many positive things that I can do with it and yet I find it now inspiring me on a singular level to get real with myself and examine the relationship that I have with the natural world. I know that I am able to teach my children through my example and through the values that I hold, but I am also grateful for the opportunity to speak to a larger audience through my book. That is really important to me and so I choose to dedicate this book to all of you, to all adults. I do this with a heartfelt belief that if you teach a child to care for the Earth you ARE changing the world, because each effort made really does begin with just one person.
An excerpt from the book Our Home, The Earth:
“We should all be like the Earth,
beautiful people that give so much.
After all, we do all live here together on this one Earth, our home.”
- The Earth as a Being – Part I (shinemine.wordpress.com)
- 40 Ways to go Greener at Home… Besides just Recycling http://simplemom.net/tips-to-go-green-at-home/
- Raising Environmental Awareness Through Teaching Environmental Awareness http://www.dialogueonline.ca/raising-environmental-awareness-through-teaching-environmental-awareness/6160/