Many people these days have no deep understanding of themselves or the natural environment that makes their lives possible.
A healthy childhood is rooted in nature and a supportive family, but increasingly in modern times our lives have become less attuned to nature and more solely to culture.
“It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.” ~ Albert Einstein.
In his book ‘Nature and the Human Soul: Cultivating Wholeness in a Fragmented World’, Bill Plotkin, says: “…our communities have become caravans astray in a cultural wilderness. We’ve lost our bearings and forgotten where we were headed in the first place.”
These days of internet games, smart phones, and always there internet, make free, natural play seem like a quaint artefact of our past. Children are aware of the global threats to the environment, but their physical contact, their intimacy with nature, is fading.
Increasingly nature is something to watch, to read about, to consume, to wear, to ignore.
In his book ‘Last Child in the Woods’ Richard Louv says: “…as the young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow, physiologically, and psychologically, and this reduces the richness of human experience.”
Yet, as the bond between the young and the natural world weakens, a growing body of research links our mental, physical, and spiritual health directly to our association with nature – in positive ways.
The research reveals that spending time in nature provides protection against a startling range of diseases including depression, diabetes, obesity, ADHD, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and many more.
Nature: the best medicine of all.
“If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it. Perhaps this is what Thoreau had in mind when he said, “the more slowly trees grow at first, the sounder they are at the core, and I think the same is true of human beings.” ~ David Sobel, Beyond Ecophobia.