Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods has a surprise ending as all well-written works should - a surprise, but not.
I found all these blog tags in this book: generations, inspiration, justice, kids in community, language, puppies (because they're creatures), questions, random, relational, resources, pondering, roots, stewardship, story, teaching learning, worship
Paul Gorman: (founder, director of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Amherst, MA) "To the extent that we separate our children from creation is the extent to which we separate them from the creator - from God..." (LCW p. 293)
"Just as many places of worship are going green, environmental organizations are increasingly likely to evoke the spiritual...Faith-based environmentalism can create strange bedfellows and powerful unions. . . Potentially, places of worship could be more important institutions than schools in connecting the young with the natural world. 'More and more people of faith, as they grow in their awareness of the connection between nature and religion, are bringing nature into the discussion,' says Gorman. 'But you have to start with parents. First and above all is for parents to understand this connection itself. The future is not about designing curriculum. It's about awakening to creation. Kids have to feel that this connection is vital and deep in their parents. They see through us all the time . . . as the connection becomes more vivid to us, our commitment to it becomes more authentic, and children respond to that authenticity. The most important thing is the awakening. That joy of awakening and discovery is what it's like to be a child." (LCW p. 295-6)
Do you hear the connection? Mr. Louv sites a lot of research to support his position, and you can use research to say whatever you like but there are some interesting observations. I'm more impressed with the wisdom. There's a lot of catch 22 - in order to change this, you have to change that. We don't always know what the consequences will be. I also like the fact that Louv is quick to listen to the other voices who join in the discussion, though he may not agree. He's spoken with lots of parents and children and teachers and leaders of organizations.
There are always cross-roads. There are always choices to make. There's always something we take for granted. It's easier than we think to turn around and discover that the thing we took for granted is suddenly gone. It really wasn't sudden. We made choices and no one warned us - or maybe someone warned us but it wasn't a priority at the time. Maybe it wouldn't be gone if we'd been better stewards - if we hadn't taken it for granted. Maybe whatever we lost wouldn't be gone if only we'd . . .