Construx Xonspiritorz: Save the World8:00:00 AMPaul Clemente
Hello, this is Mandy. I have known Paul since the 5th grade. He lived down the street from me. I think we have shared an interest in the quirky and the telling of stories. We both wore trench coats to school. Mine was sort of practical, as I wanted something with big pockets to hold my CD player. I also detested getting my legs wet when it rained (now, I wear rain pants). Not sure of all the reasons Paul wore a trench coat, but I am sure we both desired to be different.
Paul: I remember my navy blue trench coat, it made me feel like a superhero. Mandy and I are old friends again that have shared stories on the school bus for countless years. She was one of the few people who could sustain a conversation with me without being discouraged with my inability to stay serious. She was another one I looked up to write something for us, since I knew she was a brilliant mind with something beautiful to share with our readers. She also is a long time supporter of consruxnunchux.com, before it was cool. So check out her blog above, there is some very inspiring stuff on there.
I was honored when Paul asked me to write something for his blog. Then, I wasn’t sure what to write about. He didn’t give many guidelines, except it could be about ANYTHING that I was passionate about and something I typically wouldn’t write about on my blog. Gee whiz, I don’t think he understood how difficult it would be for me to choose as I am a jane-of-all-trades and multi-disciplinary. However, the more I thought about it, most of these interests stem from a center passion – nature.
I have always been connected to the Earth from a wee age by tending gardens with my grandma, walking through the forests with my mom, taste testing edibles, caring for a host of different creatures to later on as a teenager growing my own plants and creating a flower garden. I went to college for Horticulture to be able to cultivate incredible and useful plants. Then, I began to think about how I wanted to share with others about plants and nature. I wanted to provide them with opportunities to connect with nature and this lead me to becoming an Environmental Educator.
Why is it so important for one to have a connection with nature? Some say when you live with nature in mind you are a hippie, a tree-hugger, or an environmentalist. I say you are a humanitarian. I am here to save the planet! Not just the earth, but all of the people, plants, animals and other organisms in it. I know that Mother Earth can hold her own; she’ll bounce back. We as a species we will not if we continue down the road that we are on. We have evolved beyond the other animals and have lost our instincts and place in the web of life. Many people believe they are superior. They want to control, change, and alter the face of the Earth to benefit what they think is best and better. Really, they are simply hurting themselves and future generations of Homo sapiens. What happened to make us hate ourselves so much?
We look for scapegoats to place our blame and unhappiness. Here is a forest that is exactly in the spot I want to build my house – tear it down! We intentionally harm ourselves in order to make a profit. I need bigger corn to get more money, let’s spray chemicals on the crop that will make them grow faster. We have brought in invasive species just for simple whims that destroy what native beauty we have left. Shakespeare enthusiast releases European Starlings in Central Park, because they were mentioned by the bard once.
For the past ten years I have tried to share the beauty and wonders of nature with children of all ages – from 1 to 99. To find out what will make the connection for them. I would love to be positive and say that there are a greater percentage of people that do fall in love with the Earth. However, most of the time it is slightly disheartening to see someone who is deathly afraid to walk on a trail through an open forest. Or someone so bent on killing every single inchworm they see, simply because they are there. An INCHWORM?!? It eats leaves and in no way can it harm you. I have a lot of inner struggles and sometimes I want to throw my towel in and give up on humanity. Then...
Then, one person or a group of participants does get engaged and there a spark of understanding. We have fun exploring habitats. We find a snake eating a toad. We talk about the many uses of oak trees. We see baby bluebirds. We pick up snails and salamanders. We plant native flowers. Moments that make my heart sing! Through these moments something is awakened. Something deep inside that has always been there. Something that may have been pushed away due to society, fear, parents, no prior exposure, hurt, media, doubt, etc.
We need to awaken and become more of ourselves if we want our grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and other future generations to be here on Earth. We have to face our fears, anxieties, and doubts about ourselves first and then we will be open to connecting with the world. With awakening, we can then be aware of how we present ourselves and how we interact with life. We can live instinctively and consciously, they way we were meant to live. Sure, you can cop out and say that you are just one person and why should you care. Who does that hurt? First, you and then everyone else around you.
I challenge you to look inside to see why you hurt and why you want to hurt yourself. I challenge you to care about the human race and the world we live in. I challenge you to go outside and just listen. To look at a flower. To get down on hands and knees looking for a toad or a four-leaf clover. To feel the sun warming your face. To take off your shoes and feel the earth below.
Awaken to what is already inside. It starts with you.
Finally, I would like to share an excerpt from one of my favorite books by Dr. Seuss, The Lorax.
“But now,” says the Once-ler.
“Now that you’re here,
The word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.