The Future Is In Our Hands
The article “A Walk in the Woods,” by Richard Louv was published in April 2009 by Orion Press. This article mainly involved the aspect of deforestation and how today’s youth does not spend enough quality time outdoors. This malicious destruction of our natural habitat has been quite the controversy over the past few decades because it has a devastating impact on the environment. This negative impact does not only take a major toll locally, but on a global scale as well. I found that this article is addressed towards deforestation workers and predominantly parents who coup their children indoors. Obviously, workers are obligated to reap the benefits nature has to offer, but this does not mean it is necessary to decimate thousands of innocent forests. Trees need to be cut down in order for our economy to prosper essentially because the majority of goods contain wood. It is apparent that we cannot stop this action, but the government needs to step forward and address this issue further. If they simply plot out better areas for deforestation and plant more trees, our problem would be resolved. This movement would entice children to go on nature walks and enjoy the immaculate beauty our planet has to offer.
Richard Louv stresses the point that today’s youth prefers performing indoor activities such as video games, to exploiting the pristine beauty of Mother Nature. He visited a classroom of children in Raytown, Missouri who preferred playing video games or other indoor activities, rather than being in the nature. On the contrary, a little girl in the room struck Louv in a special way. She stated, “When I’m in the woods, I feel like I’m in my mother’s shoes. It is so peaceful out there and the air smells so good. For me, it’s completely different there.” To this young adolescent, nature seemed to represent tranquility and simply a place to get away from everything. She also went onto explain how she felt free, and how the woods were a place where she could do as she pleased with no one to stop her. Unfortunately, the juggernaut force of deforestation came into effect and the little girl felt like they cut down a part of her. Everyday citizens today take many things for granted, or in other words, they feel they have the “right” to do whatever they please. If these citizens at least attempted to have a different outlook on these important issues, our world would be a better place to live. Strong correlations have been made between a child’s ability to learn, along with positive emotional and physical health when experiencing the natural world. Spending quality time in the nature positively induces children who have stress related predicaments, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, cognitive functioning, and other disorders. According to Howard Frumkin, director of the National Center for Environmental Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Protecting natural landscapes can be seen as a powerful form of preventive medicine.” He feels that we need to do more research to come to a solution, but our society as a whole knows enough to strive toward these positive actions. Louv compares this struggle to the civil rights movement; it was fueled by a strongly articulated moral principle. Some of these efforts proved to be successful, whereas others were counterproductive. In the end, the civil rights movement went forward and strived. It is our responsibility to introduce children to nature because this connection to the natural world is fundamental to humanity’s survival and spirit. According to Thomas Berry’s book The Great Work, he went on to explain “The present urgency is to begin thinking within the context of the whole planet, the integral Earth community with all its human and other-than-human components. When we discuss ethics we must understand it to mean the principles and values that govern that comprehensive community.” Our adult society needs to step up and give...
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