Chap. 24: Assign students a plot of land

I remember back in elementary school, teachers would ask us to plant something as a class activity. We would be given pots, soil and a variety of seeds. We would all be excited because we were bringing life to the world. Even if it never became a conscious thought, we all felt good on the inside.

As human beings, we are a huge part of nature. We come from nature. When we die, we go back to nature. It’s the cycle of life. It’s how it should be and how it has always been.

Whenever we feel sad or stressed, we seek out the nature. The trees, the flowers, the animals, the lakes, the marshes, the insects…they all remind us of who we really are on the inside: important participants of a dynamic universe that is always moving towards a state of harmony and peace.

Whatever hurts the nature hurts us as well. With all the technology and distractions we have at our disposal today, it’s easy to turn away from the truth. While we can trick ourselves that all possibilities of disasters are in a distant future, we cannot get rid of that permanent itching to do something about it.

As we grow older, it seems that activities at school become less oriented towards the natural universe and more towards theoretical abstract knowledge. Being our primary source of education, it has a huge impact on our mentality and conditioning. When we take away the awareness for the world and all its materials that sustain us, we build a community of people who won’t care about it.

This kind of desensitization will remain as we get older. And this will have a definite impact on the future of our children, their children and the succeeding future generations.

With the industrialization period, followed by its mentality that is far from being environmentally-friendly, we dedicate our education system to training leaders that are blinded from the importance of our natural ecosystem.

There is almost a stigma to those who choose to take environmental studies or anything related. People associate naivety to it, believing that it’s not useful because it won’t bring in the cash. We will hear the derogatory term, “tree-hugger” and imagine poor souls risking their lives for what seem to be inanimate objects.

However, it shouldn’t be this way.

The education system should make it so that each and every one of us are obligated to study the nature to understand how to protect it for our long-term safety, health and happiness. We can assign each student, no matter their age, a plot of land on the school property that they are responsible for. We give them the tools and the time to take care of it. We get them mentors to guide them.

By doing this, students will feel more engaged with their physical environment, as well as with the members of their community. When we give individuals responsibility, we offer them a sense of belonging, which leads to a sense of ease and happiness. We then teach them to ask for help when needed, to build social relations, and most importantly to care for the nature as an active citizen. Even if they choose not to pursue a career in environmental studies itself, at least whatever they decide on will take into account its relation to the health of the nature.

In our society today, we need to bring people together and connect them to not only to others, but also to the physical world they are inevitably a part of.

Let’s end the separation that has and is causing pain to the people in the world. Let’s give everyone a chance to contribute and learn to be leaders.

Having awareness is the first step. But this first step can change the course of our future. May we begin letting in the beauty and strength of the nature that is already in our blood. ❤

 

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