Connecting With Animals As Teachers with Richard Louv

Have you ever looked into the eyes of a wild animal? If so, you know how its gaze unnerves us and we’re struck with awe and wonder in its presence. It can be described as a sacred experience. Even in urban areas there are many opportunities to encounter the wild but we have to actually make an effort to get out of the confines of our homes and immerse ourselves in the natural landscape. This program explores a pervasive ailment of our age which is Nature Deficit Disorder. He encourages us to follow the suggestion of Jon Young of 8 Shields and find a “sit spot”, which can be in your yard, rooftop garden, or the edge of a creek. “[Y]ou pick one spot in nature (for me it was the edge of the creek). Go there frequentlysitting in the same spot. The frogs would, of course, jump in the creek as I approached. I’d sit down and very slowly pop, pop, pop, you’d see their heads coming up. And then you could feel what it was like to be a frog. As Jon saysif you do this [over time] you can hear a kind of language that nature uses. You can observe, smell, and use all the senses, some of which have atrophied in us. [However,] they’re still there.” Louv says that he is not anti-technology but shares the thought that, “The more high-tech our lives become, the more nature we need.” He also adds, “Conservation is no longer enough. For everything we receive from nature, we need to give back, we need to nurture nature, as much as it nurtures us. We need to do this in a thousand ways until the species loneliness passes away.” 

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