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Nurturing Future Stewards

Mar 5, 2024 | Daily Trek, Futuristic

Nurturing Future Stewards - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

Encouraging a love for nature in our youth nurtures future stewards. Undoubtedly, connecting with people who live on the land teaches us. We witness the creation of healthy systems built by our actions, not just talks of sustainability.

Research today shows that children in large urban cities can easily recognize brands like McDonald’s and celebrities such as Taylor Swift. Yet, when it comes to the origins of milk or tomatoes, many believe the supermarket is the source. They learn that vitamin C comes from a bottle, and love comes from others.

Recognizing brands or celebrities indicates our engagement with the contemporary narrative. But what happens when this understanding separates us from our natural environment?

Ten years ago, I personally experienced the disconnection from nature prevalent in our western progressive world. We overlook the fact that we, along with everything else, are part of nature.

Our cars may come from a factory but what is the source behind their creation?

Behind every car is a complex supply chain that spans the globe, involving human labor, natural resources, and technological advancements.

Supermarkets with special sections for fresh natural food prompt us to question the source of the unnatural food available. In Europe, specialty stores exclusively sell “eco” labeled products, including food, beauty supplies, and non-toxic (natural) cleaning items. At North American farmers markets, farmers must indicate whether their products are organic.

There is also a difference between pretend-play and natural organic play today. This too is a reflection of our increasing division in the world.

So, it’s inspiring to hear stories of people living on the land, regenerating the Earth, and raising a new generation. Children roam freely in nature, acquainted with the local flora and fauna, feeling a deep connection to the environment. And yes, it’s not all rainbows and unicorns; challenges arise as frequently as opportunities.

Speaking to a nine-year-old girl from the United States, now living in South America, I discovered her deep connection to a broader ecosystem and community, a humbling experience when she talked about restoring the rivers, soil and forests. However, this sharply contrasts with a nine-year-old boy whose deep dive into digital devices and games bred a sense of anger towards the world.

Given the challenges of recent years, it’s understandable that kids are restless, mirroring the broader societal feeling. Connection emerges as a crucial lifeline requiring significant awareness and development. Achieving this is possible both in rural settings and large cities, especially when we prioritize the origins of what sustains us and our overall wellbeing.

Because research also finds that exposure to nature boosts children’s cognitive flexibility, creativity, and emotional and physical wellbeing. Additionally, it cultivates a sense of wonder, curiosity, and appreciation of all life forms. Moreover, this connection instills a profound love for the environment, essential for developing future stewards of our planet.



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