Saturday, October 2, 2010

Stealing from our Children

I was honored to hear Chief Oren Lyons speak today at the NAAEE conference in Buffalo, New York.  
Not only did he remind us all that we are running out of time, but he reiterated this Native American Proverb:

 “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”

Those words rattled around my head as I wandered back to my hotel after presenting my own session at the conference.  I’d heard the quotation before, but somehow today, hearing it spoken by Chief Lyons, brought tears to my eyes. 

I thought we loved our children?  We do everything we can to nurture and protect them don’t we?  We have child protection agencies, child care this and child care that.  And yet the stark reality is that we are NOT protecting them from a future that is likely to be pretty grim; one that we ourselves probably won’t have to endure.  We are neglecting all the children of the earth right now and into the next generations because we are refusing to act boldly and decisively in this moment, when it is so crucial that we do so.

I admit, on the one hand it all makes me feel weary, this continual apathy on the part of so many global leaders and the constant bickering about climate change by certain insidious media types and political news grabbers. 

But then, in my session, there were these enthusiastic young educators, singing along, doing the actions, excited about ecology programs they’re creating with their kids and suddenly my energy’s back!  My determination to, at the very least, take each moment of this life that I have been gifted, to find ways to inspire kids to love and honor this planet by continuing to create resources and programs that can contribute to the growing abundance of work out there.  

I didn't begin this Blog  to rant, there's plenty of exasperation out there, so forgive me this slight deviation.  However, as Chief Lyons pointed out, "Nature's laws are not negotiable...and Cap and Trade is the temple of doom."  How can we rob our children and the next generations of a healthy, abundant planet, I mean really, how can we?  

Earth Hero Activity
Invite kids to seek out someone who is their Earth Hero; someone who has inspired them with their work to protect the planet, a particular species or habitat.  Rachel Carson, John Muir, Wangari Maathai, Sylvia Earle and Jane Goodall are just a few.

Story: The story of Chipko
SongDolphin Teach Us To Play Celebrate being alive!
Here are some interesting Blogs I came across lately - No Student Left Indoors
I'm A Teacher Get Me Outside

Thanks for reading, for caring, for doing all that you do to raise awareness and the quality of life for all beings; each one of us can make a difference, so lets act together now to really make change happen.
In gratitude for this life, nourished unselfishly by this precious, fragile planet.
Photo by Georgia Emery