Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
Wild Wanderings Blog – July 26, 2012
Children are perhaps our greatest gifts and teachers in life. And, as adults, present one of our greatest challenges. It's so easy to get caught up in ourselves and the hustle and bustle of our daily routine that spending quality time with our children often goes by the wayside.
I remember when I was growing up, often hearing the cliché… "The future is in our Children." At the time I don't think I truly understood or appreciated how important and powerful that statement really is. After all, I was too busy playing, partying and trying to control my hormones. I simply didn’t have time to be concerned about children. Honestly, children kind of annoyed me most of the time.
I guess the shift happened when I was about 30 years old. I started playing more with my brothers children and suddenly began seeing the future through their eyes. After all, I wasn't going to live forever and I couldn't take all those fishing poles and sporting goods (that I hardly ever used) with me when I died anyway. I suddenly realized that up until that point my life, everything had totally revolved around ME. I really hadn't done much of anything to leave this world a better place for future generations.
I finally came to the realization that it was the children who were going to inherit this Earth and it is our responsibility, as adults, to make sure that we teach them to Love it and take care of it. We need to immerse them, at an early age, into all the beauty and wonder that our great planet freely gives to us. Giving them that gift at an early age is so very important to the future of our planet. Sadly, it is a gift that too few of us had when we were young. Hopefully, as a result, our children will make better decisions in their lives than we have made. Shouldn’t that be the goal of every parent and educator? I truly believe that our relationship with Nature is the major key to accomplishing this. For without Nature, we simply cannot be…
Students often ask me…“What’s the best way to teach children these skills?” I can tell they're a little surprised at how simple I make it sound. It’s really is quite easy actually. I teach kids the four basic elements of survival: shelter, water, fire and food. Then, I mix in a bunch of awareness exercises and a little spiritual stuff. Over all, I get them as dirty as I can and have as much fun as possible! And, hopefully I'll plant a few seeds for the future. Nature is the real teacher here folks. We just have to create the space for learning and sharing.
I don't have a degree in child psychology and I don't teach from a text book. I teach straight from the Heart, and I am able to adjust and adapt at a moments notice…It’s more fun that way:) My advice to people who want to teach kids, but are a little afraid, is to jump in feet first and go for it! Any teaching is better than none at all. And besides, they'll teach you more than you could possibly teach them anyway. So have fun!!
A friend of mine sent me a card that pretty well sums it all up. On the card there is a picture of a little boy standing on the shore of a lake, gazing out across the water. The card is entitled "PRIORITIES" and it says" A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove, but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child." There are a lot of children out there waiting for someone to make a difference in their lives...maybe it's you…….
As always, I welcome your thoughts and input. Please consider joining a group I started called “Traditional / Primitive Living Skills” and I do encourage you to ask questions and contribute.
Richard Cleveland lives in Asheville, NC. He is the founder and director of Earth School. A self-trained Naturalist, fishing and nature guide, he has taught traditional native skills to thousands of people, of all ages. For info about his programs visit www.LoveTheEarth.com
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