Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

I took part in the very first Earth Day, April 22, 1970 as it was celebrated on my college campus. Our gathering was very small and lasted only a few minutes, but I thought to myself, "finally." To celebrate the earth gave me hope. We celebrate nearly everything else (mostly money) and it seemed significant to celebrate the planet upon which our lives depend and that should no longer be simply taken for granted and used for our own personal monetary profit.

Up until the twentieth century, it seemed the abundance of the planet was such that we could take thoughtless advantage of it. We built ever more powerful machines to do so. And now we have learned that resources are limited, that all species suffer when we act thoughtlessly, and that our own future has been put in peril.

So we celebrate the earth in hopes that people will come to their senses in preservation of it.

On a related subject, I talked with my sister last night about her experience teaching reading in a public school. She mentioned how mean her kids are to each other, and that they've learned to despise reading. By the time students get in her class, it is almost too late for them and for the planet. How can one these days really understand their own responsibility to the planet if they are so ill equipped to get along with each other?

These are special kids. They've not been given the early parental support for reading pleasure. Then they are pushed into reading and pushed so hard as to become oppositional toward it and hateful of situations that force them to do it and have their intelligence and sense of self measured by it.

And where in the world is wood shop when we need it most? In wood shop we learn that what we do has real consequences. Children are given the opportunity for creative problems solving. They are able to express intelligences that they themselves can see and measure, and they find  pleasure in their being schooled and becoming educated. They find that when you can read plans, and then make things, even if it requires reading over and over again, you will have gained a mastery of reading that even those who read for pleasure may not get.

A comment below points to an article that proclaims "to hell with Earth Day, long live Arbor Day," but fails to note that one consciously evolved from the other. Let's celebrate both. Without trees the earth would be a barren place. With trees it has a chance of recovery.

Make, fix and create...


  1. http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2009/04/to-hell-with-earth-day-long-live-arbor-day/

  2. http://www.frontporchrepublic.com/2009/04/to-hell-with-earth-day-long-live-arbor-day/