Quotations on Children and their World
Page I


 I don't want my children to grow up in a world where there are no commercial fishermen in the Hudson, where we've lost touch with the seasons and the tides and the things that connect us to the 10,000 generations of human beings that were here before there were laptops, and that connect us ultimately to God.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

 

If, when we were young we tramped through forests of Ne­braska cottonwoods, or raised pigeons on a rooftop in Queens, or fished for Ozark bluegills, or felt the swell of a wave that traveled a thousand miles before lifting our boat, then we were bound to the natural world and remain so today. Nature still informs our years --  lifts us, carries us.

For children, nature comes in many forms. A newborn calf; a pet that lives and dies; a worn path through the woods; a fort nested in stinging nettles; a damp, mysterious edge of a vacant lot—whatever shape na­ture takes, it offers each child an older, larger world separate from parents. Unlike television, nature does not steal time; it amplifies it. Nature offers healing for a child living in a destructive family or neighborhood. It serves as a blank slate upon which a child draws and reinterprets the culture's fantasies. Nature inspires creativity in a child by demanding vi­sualization and the full use of the senses. Given a chance, a child will bring the confusion of the world to the woods, wash it in the creek, turn it over to see what lives on the unseen side of that confusion. Nature can frighten a child, too, and this fright serves a purpose. In nature, a child finds freedom, fantasy, and privacy: a place distant from the adult world, a separate peace.

Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods : Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

 

 

 

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