Why nature? Why outside?
It’s much more comfortable inside where it is warm and comfortable and above all, clean! No cleaning mucky boots, no drying rain soaked jackets, no scrubbing dirty hands and above all, no dirty footprints in my house! Plus it’s dangerous out there. Trips, falls, nettles, stings and bugs. Nope, we’re staying inside!
Sounds much better doesn’t it? Much more interesting and much more safe? However, take a look at your children. Look at their faces. Do they look happy and content? Itching to jump from sofa to sofa. Desperately trying to stay awake while watching another dire “Peppa Pig” episode. Positively catatonic staring at another battlefield in Call of Duty.
Recent RSPB research indicates that about 4 out of every 5 children in the UK are “not connected to Nature.” (The guardian, October 2013) To me this is pretty terrifying!
As these children grows up and form into adults they will grow with less of an appreciation of nature and more of a disregard towards preserving it. These adults potentially foster the same disregard in their own children and thus the cycle begins again.
Now this view is pretty wide and totally hypothetical, but the inkling that 80% of young people do not have a desire to be outside in nature, apart from the odd kick about in the park can only lead us to the conclusion that nature is becoming less important to your young people.
Nurturing nature is something that has become important and in my opinion should be a key aspect of raising children in the modern world. With evidence pointing towards the irreparable damage being caused to the planet placed at the feet of past indiscretions in living and industry coupled with a careless human regard for protecting what we have left, it is important that we encourage our children to engage positively with the planet and learn to respect it, mould it and conserve it with vigour.
We must teach them to care much more than we have. It may not be their fault, but it is our legacy we leave and we must apologies to them and the planet by teaching them to love it more than we ever did.
“I see children, all children, as humanity’s most precious resource, because it will be to them that the care of the planet will always be left.“ Alice Walker