So I admit to having some early-morning inspiration as I drove by the elementary school on the way to the office.
"Children are our most valuable natural resource," it said.
What a powerful statement. And so open to possibilities. And so I proposed it for a topic for the December APLS blog carnival. Because, while I know it’s the holidays, the writers in this group are up for a bigger challenge than how to just give green for the holidays.
I’ll admit to being blown away by the response. Because here’s the truth: Whether we have our hands full as a parent or are not even considering childbirth any time soon, we have a stake in tomorrow.
During this holiday season, some of us focused on how the lessons of giving can extend beyond Dec. 25. Raising children to think beyond themselves (and reshaping our culture as a result) was the topic of my post earlier this month. And Green Bean, inspired by the well-wishing Secret Santas that are becoming a positive epidemic in our world, is finding ways to foster that inspiration and caring for others nearby and abroad in her family. "I can't imagine a greater gift than to teach our next generation the gift of giving," she writes.
Fostering that sense of self, in all its imperfections, is the focus of Burban Mom’s essay. She writes: "[W]hether it's a passion for art, a love of music or a concern for our environment, it is absolutely imperative that we give our children the encouragement they need to at least TRY."
Erin at the Conscious Shopper laments the disconnect our youngest generations have from the natural world. “I can remember being as young as five and playing freely in the field in front of our house with my older sister," she writes. "...I can't imagine letting my kids have the kind of freedom in nature that I enjoyed. Not only because the world seems less safe now, but also because there's just no place like that around here where they can play.... Without experiencing nature, will the next generation have any desire to preserve it?" Erin goes on to offer ways to reintroduce ourselves and the next generations to the "real" world.
Beth at Fake Plastic Fish reminds us that generations past might have taken a different approach. "These problems began before I was born and have increased significantly in recent years with the explosion of single-use disposable products," she writes. "I'm glad there are folks here considering future generations. I wish those who started this mess had considered mine. But for me, considering the impact I am having each day, right now, is enough."
Curiousalexa takes this twist on the Golden Rule: "I am green because that is the type of world I would wish to inherit, the type of world I wish to inhabit. I am green not only to maintain this world for future generations, but also for the present generation, and in the hope that previous generations would have wanted to do the same for me."
Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter takes inspiration from her students: from those trying out eco-friendly clothing to the ones taking larger steps, including promoting sustainable fishing and dreaming of studying environmental law. Take a look into our future on her blog.
Finally, Ruchi at Arduous Blog reminds us that it’s not too late for any one of us to make changes. "I don't care if you are six or if you are 72. We are all the future. … Live life. Every day. Reach for your dreams. Don't let the idea that you're too old stop you."
True words. We can all make a difference, no matter our age or circumstances, and don't we all deserve a brighter tomorrow?
Thanks to everyone who took time this busy holiday season to participate in this month's blog carnival. Be sure to check the APLS blog for updates on our January topic!