When National Geographic wanted us to do a show all I heard was an opportunity to get more students to the school. It didn’t turn out they way I had imagined. The story we hold in our heads that defines our “reality” is in large part due to what we recognize and focus on. If we do not know the difference between wild carrot and poison hemlock, than the plant world tends to be seen as a frightening place. If we are unfamiliar with how quickly our car can stall, or how important clothing is during winter in Maine, we could easily perish and certainly panic in the wake of a common flat tire during March. Our dependencies upon smart phones and public assistance has given us a false sense of security. “Bliss” has replaced wizened caution, humility, and respect for the out of doors.
Fear is a short term reaction to a threat. When we encounter the unknown of nature, we often react with fear. “Survival” shows key in on this fear. It brings ratings, but it doesn’t translate in to skills development to remedy the fear many have about the real and natural world waiting outside their door.
Learning how to use the plants in your yard for food and medicine, catching frogs, and climbing trees are all things we did as kids. They are a part of a suite of important skill sets that, working in conjunction with each other, equip us to flourish in the out of doors. Learning these tools is a hands on endeavor that engages us on a personal level. We feel great as we increase our resilience with a useful skill that connects us to something genuine. When this happens we grow.
Instead of “prepping for doomsday” we might be comfortable and confident enough to increase bounty.