I envision a shifted cultural mindset in capitalism-based societies towards reciprocity with the Earth, to a mutual relationship of love and respect. A new perspective that sees us living in conjunction with the earth, rather than upon, would inevitably breed less capitalistic economies, leading to reduced social stratification and more equitable societies. This vision goes to the root of the socio-ecological crises facing us, and addresses the fact that we must repair our relationship with the land before we can truly create more Just societies. So how could we go about shifting the deeply engrained mindset that the earth is a resource, that we can exploit it, and people of lower social status, as long as it brings us benefit? I think this begins with how we teach our children to interact with the Earth, with bridging the separation between us and food systems to become more connected with that which gives us life. After all, it is difficult to truly care about something you feel little connection with.
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Totally agree: if we want actionable change, we need to start with value building in our next generation. It won't be enough to espouse idealistic visions of the future if we want to deal with climate change, instead we need a complete paradigm shift in the way we interact with the environment, and the best way to do that is to work with children.
This post is so beautifully written Sophia! I certainly agree that a concrete step towards shifting societal views on how we view and interact with nature is helping our children (or young people in general!) develop meaningful connections with the Earth, so they feel an innate sense of compassion for it. Also love your illustration of "social stratification".... definitely going to keep this description in my own back pocket to use when communicating injustices!
Hi Sophia, your last line "it is difficult to truly care about something you feel little connection with" really hit a chord with me. I agree with how the issues lies in the attitude that people bear, where we have little to no connection with the earth, but rather use it as a source with no sense of giving back.
Yes! I completely resonate with this, and this is something that I also highlighted in my own post. We live in a capitalism-based society that emphasizes the monetary wealth we can gain from extracting all the resources from the land - but what about the wealth we can gain from taking a different approach, where we respect our lands? By that, I mean the invaluable knowledge of how to live harmoniously with the Earth and creating sustainable practices so that our planet will be healthy for not only our lifetime but our children's lifetimes, our grandchildren, and so on. I believe we can learn so much from Indigenous Peoples as they have so much knowledge as to how to respect our land and only take what the land will give them.
This is so well said Sophia, I really like how you emphasized how our current relationship with the earth is exploitation-based and I think your suggestion for changing how we teach our children to interact with it is great. That's really where the root of it is, we're not born to exploit, we are taught that! Breeding connection can be a powerful way to take care of something, because you're right it is very hard to care about something you don't have connection with!
I really like your view on how shifting from a capitalist mindset to create more just societies. I think this is a very interesting idea to keep in mind when thinking about justice and reconciliation because so many of the issues that arise are due to a capitalist mindset. I think getting out of that mindset will benefit people and the earth in countless ways.
I love your approach! It's evident that we have treated Earth as a resource and have exploited it in every way possible. We can most definitely change this mindset in future generations by teaching children to interact with Earth in a respectful manner and to also gain a connection with the planet that is giving all of us life!
Thank you for this informative post, I totally agree that we should have a mutual connection with our earth instead of only extracting from earth. That is the basis for us to build a just society. Moreover, I thought educate the youngs is a fantastic and efficient way to deepen the idea of reciprocity, as we act due to what we learned.
Hi Sophia, I think this vision that you have painted in essence is beautiful. I think everyone could take some benefit of connecting with our home that a lot of us don't even know that well and starting with our children is an amazing change that we wish to see in the world. The innocence and ignorance of children can be molded by their environment, and so connecting with the youth is an imperative step towards reconnecting and grounding ourselves in what we have created to be our reality. Young voices are what will be able to vote, and so instilling values that understand, appreciate and want to care for our planet is a very important ideal for me as well. While some may think this comes with a certain level of privilege, which it very well may depending on how one decides to implement action, I think evaluating our mindsets and regulating what we teach our children costs nothing and will have profound effects on our future planet, legislation, and fostering harmony amidst humans.
I love this way of thinking! I love that idea of "the earth cares for you, you should care for the earth". Ingraining this value into our youth is a great way to start implementing a globally understood care for our planet!
Hi Sophia! Your explanation of shifting values and culture is something that resonated with me a lot. I too think that for real lasting change, there needs to be a cultural shift and an appreciation for nature.
Hi Sophia, I think this is such a beautiful idea. Children are the most understanding, and easy-to-teach people. Maybe when we think about we can do, we focus on what us as educated adults can do on our own but teaching our incoming generations about what our relationship with the earth should be like is so critical. It's all about how we grew up and what we understood about how the earth functions. I grew up fearing a lot of animals for example because I was taught that most animals (non-domesticated) were a threat and should even be killed (like insects) but now I understand how critical every life is to the ecosystem. I learned this in my classes at UBC but I could just as easily have learned this appreciation and carefulness towards the earth at as a child. Thank you for sharing!
I wholly agree with this. Conserving the environment needs to become a priority, and that happens only if we collectively care about it. This is how we can create long-lasting change. I think that starting these discussions and raising awareness is a strong first step, even if it may not yield immediate tangible results.
I love this :) I agree that if we completely shifted our understanding of how precious our surroundings are there could be amazing worldwide changes; exploitation is largely a function of human exceptionalism/anthropocentrism, as well as capitalism/greed. I think the easy (fast?) answer is to just throw it all away and start over (lol) but I wonder how we can really do this....does it start at the very bottom, with us having these conversations?