That is what we have each day. What we do with each day is up to us for the most part, decisions we make, actions we take. And only a few of those seconds on any one decision changes how we think, who we trust, and lives we affect. It only takes one second to push a button, pull a trigger, choose to support a cause, or decide to act responsibly. My question is…
“Who killed the kindness?” That is my question for this Earth Day.
I look at gardeners as compassionate, caring, giving people, but does that start in youth? Were these traits something instilled from family, from society, from school?
See more hummingbird photos in Hummingbird Closeups with the Nikon P510.
When you look at recent tragedies, bombings and school shootings, one has to wonder which one of the three went wrong with the young individuals committing these acts. Civility in our culture is at an all time low, choice in the way we treat our environment and each other declining daily.
Do you remember what it was like to be a kid growing up? Not very long ago kids had a childhood that included days playing outside hours on end. They played unsupervised by adults – riding bikes, climbing trees, building forts, chasing butterflies, and catching frogs. I know, I did. It was a life lived outdoors in the fields and forests.
What happened to this life? More importantly have kids today lost the life-guiding lessons that nature and nurture taught us?
Many kids, and adults alike, have become distant to nature’s interconnectedness. Teaching reverence for all living things is starting to fade, beauty is barely noticed in the hurried activities of each passing day.
I think many don’t make the association of our connection to all of nature, and that to some level, makes us as adults look at our gardens as “ours”, not sharing it with an entire ecosystem, let alone the community in which we live.
So many look to kill everything that moves in a garden, with little regard to why the organism is there in the first place. Little regard is taken in what the sprays kill in neighboring gardens either.
Kids used to work the family farms. They learned how plants and animals relate as they toiled doing farm chores. They saw how the bees worked the hedgerow plants and how fence rows and field borders provided a higher quality and diversity of habitat for wildlife.
Now farms and gardens alike thoughtlessly nuke the insects with pesticides and eradicate the weeds with herbicides. Huge mega-farms grow a monoculture of genetically modified plants, putting small farms out of business. I just saw an interview where about 70% of all food in the market has been modified to some extent, even if just as a select hybrid.
Farming is big business today, and family farms are almost a lost way of life. Commercial farms are devastating the family farm and the habitats supporting all the insects and creatures with mass commercial spraying. Nature is telling us some very important things lately with the decline of bees and bird species. Kids are telling us something to, but I am not sure what it is.
Gardening teaches lessons in nurturing, caring, respecting and understanding. Each time we plant, water, condition the soil, and allow the insects to do their thing we are being respectful while providing sustenance for ourselves in that which grows. It teaches respect and conservation for far off places like rainforests too.
So what does this have to do with recent events? I think an awful lot. Many are losing the connection and distancing themselves from the world’s realities. Not in a physical sense, but one in a collective sociological sense. Like in a video game, being there but not. Having no consequence of actions.
Maybe more kids need to be introduced to gardening. Gardening without the killing. Sure it is naive to think it a real solution, but it might create more kindness and community in the world. Just a thought.
Here is a problem and a solution with some tough talk and the huge dose of the reality I was speaking about – and what gave me the inspiration for the post.
In the video, Ron Finley from South Central, Los Angeles says, “Let’s all become gangsta gardeners. We have to flip the script on what a gangsta is. If you ain’t a gardener, you ain’t gangsta. Let that be your weapon of choice!” Check it out, he is DOING what I mentioned in this post, connecting back to nature, growing food and teaching children.