Tuesday :: May 30, 2006

Fear of Nature


by Duckman GR

The National Wildlife Federation has this article by Richard Louv that is well worth reading, worth it because he touches on that staple of our world today, Fear. And worth it because it has a positive message we can all understand.

When I began to ask parents around the country why children are spending so much time indoors, I expected lack of access to nature to be at the top of their list...

Even more important than availability of natural landscape is fear. This fear is felt nearly as intensely in suburban Overland Park, Kansas, as it is in urban Philadelphia.

Is it any wonder that bushco have been so successful at using fear to drive this nation to the brink of disaster? Is it really surprising that so many Democrats refuse to stand up for what they know is right?

Remember the plastic sheeting panic, the blind fervor behind the bush supporters screeching how he'll protect us from the terrorists?

Fear, fear, terror alerts, fear of nature, fear of different colored people, fear of god's vengence, we seem to be a nation of frightened children. When you think about it, it goes back to the day the USSR exploded their own "Bomb."

As the years passed, we grew accustomed to the fear, welcomed it, nurtured it, reveled in it. We became addicted to fear as a familiar place, predictable, safe even, like a Stephen King wordfest.

Well, it's time to get off the drug America. As Louv notes, Researchers ... have discovered that children as young as five showed a significant reduction in the symptoms of attention-deficit disorder when they engaged with nature.

Last year, the California Department of Education and the American Institutes for Research revealed that sixth-grade kids in environment-based programs improved their math and science scores 27 percent. They were also more engaged in the classroom and more open to conflict resolution.

Even as teevee screams about alligator attacks, sharks in the water, coyotes in Central Park, the kids show us that this artificial fear is misplaced and ill-conceived. But it makes it easier to manipulate us, as evidenced by the nightmare in Iraq. Just bum rushed by a group of tiny little men who think they can buy their humanity with the plenty of America's hard working people.

Fear. If a sixth grader can overcome it, so can we.

Update- Link fixed, thanks fly

Duckman GR :: 8:45 PM :: Comments (12) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!