The Lost Wild Education of the Wild
Whilst talking to my sister and grandmother, the topic of education came up. But more focused on how a majority of the world’s population is suddenly living in cities and what this means to a person’s experience and outlook. Instead of a person growing up and playing in the woods, they are now playing in parks and neighborhoods. Now these can definitely have their benefits, but it also creates a void with any relationship, knowledge, and experience one can have and make when out in the environment.
Oversensitivity and Lack Thereof
I believe this creates a lack of knowledge and care that is translated into a persons adult life. Someone who grew up in a city is less likely to be concerned about whether or not rivers are being polluted, or mountains be stripped for coal. These instead become concepts that people here about, but are less likely to act on. They’ll watch and read about these environmental infringements and think it’s wrong, but won’t feel the sense of loss that someone has when something natural and beautiful that they grew up with is destroyed.
At the same time, I believe the metropolis culture breads a certain oversensitivity, misunderstanding, and fear of the environment. Ask anyone who’s grown up near some woods if they’re scared of coyotes and they’ll probably say no. Ask them again if they’ve caught a frog and they’ll say yes. I can almost guarantee that if you ask someone who grew up in a city these same questions they’ll probably say know and have an overblown reaction to it. Instead of exploring and taking a few risks outdoors people are instead keeping their kids indoors where they play video games and drink soda. Our
Entertainment centers are suddenly transformed indoors and creates a new environment where risks and exploration are shunned, and we learn primarily from a fear-driven mass media culture. This culture of oversensitivity has been theorized to show an increase in allergies and an increase in more resistant strains of bacteria.
There are initiatives to educate people in cities with the outdoors with books like the Dangerous Book for Boys and and upcoming Dangerous Book for Girls, but it is definitely an uphill battle and one that should be looked closer. I believe it will influence policies and opinions greatly in the future