As a child I have always loved the woods. Up until high school I have enjoyed our weekly treks through the forest, lazing around on our favorite lake with close friends. There seemed nothing better, but to listen to soft murmur of leaves and occasional creaking of a dried branch of a tree. We used to skip stones on the lake, always choosing the flattest of the stones to get some 20 skips on the placid water. I remember climbing on to one of the mounts along the lake to find a bronze idol of the tiger god hidden away in thick undergrowth. Discovery of adventure beckoned us
The walk back to civilization was always depressing. As we moved closer to it, the greens disappeared, being replaced by the grey and the white of concrete and cement. I grew up wanting to be a forest guard, much to the displeasure of my parents. By the time I was out of Jr. College, the world seemed different, more confusing than ever. Much to their relief, I didn’t become one, but still I managed to find my way into the forest department! The memories of my precious time with nature, kept getting me back to it, making me more aware of the bond I share with it.
Now as I stand in a mall, I see children coming in for a stroll, with their parents, friends. I wonder how this contrasting experience would shape their lives. Their only connection to nature seems to be through the Discovery Channel or National Geographic Channel or the fluffy bear that sells over sweetened chocolate covered cereal. Technology a product of nature, like everything else, has replaced nature itself. A stroll through the mall, keeps them abreast of the latest brands, and newest things to buy. These malls now seem to be a elaborate stage to promote packaging products that are of no particular significance to become difficult to live without.
Children ave become ideal points of entry for companies to market their products. Now children no more dream of walking in the rain forest. They would instead enjoy, wearing the best watch, driving the costliest car and buying the newest phone.
Nature, it seems to me, is no more a part of their lives the way technology is. Natures children have now been adopted by technology.
This post is inspired by the book “Last Child in the Woods: Saving our Children from Nature Deficit Disorders” by Richard Louv
Cover via Amazon