If you've never laid in bed awake, unable to sleep, but smiling and laughing to yourself at how fantastic life is, then I highly recommend allowing yourself to do so next time you catch the life-is-awesome bug. If you're alone, talk to yourself about it. What is it that's so great about now? I know it sounds like something a crazy person would do, but believe me, it helps affirm the goodness of that moment and makes you realize so many things about yourself. At least that's what has happened to me the past two nights.
And just now, as I was unable to sleep, thinking about how bright life is (especially when you get a lot of homework done in a short period of time), I realized that if I was a time-traveller, I would go back in time to 4th grade Green Gal and give her a hug, tell her that she is awesome for being who she is, and that she can do anything she wants. It's not that I wasn't told this myself as a child; I'm certain I was. But the present-day Green Gal wants to remind 4th grade Green Gal how wonderful she is. And because this week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge is about children and how parents can help their children be more sustainable, I would say that my advice is to never stop reminding your children of their ability to achieve greatness, in whatever form their passion leads them. As a child, I got to choose what activities were worth my time. I tried out various sports, but when I decided they weren't fun or interesting anymore, I moved on. My schedule was up to me. Do that with your children--let them lead to what they want to do. That's the only way they'll ever find out what they really love.
Sustainability requires that people be engaged in life and living for something more than money. How do you raise children to care about the planet? First they have to care about life for all of its wonders and joys. You could also pack them waste free lunches and make sure they spend a lot of time outside and take them camping. All of these things are fantastic. But my personal advice is to never force your child to do something they don't find magical (except maybe school... sometimes school doesn't seem magical... but help them find that spark!). If they haven't found what's magical for them, let them explore. Let them be children.
Although, it is 1:30 AM, so perhaps I'm bonkers. I don't know, I just had to write this before I forgot about my midnight burst of joy at life and the ability to talk to myself about visiting my childhood self to tell her that she rocks. If you don't have kids, tell someone you love how much they rock. Don't let them forget that they can do or be anything they want.
Okay, time to try sleeping again. After all, I have to continue saving the world tomorrow (and write a paper for class).
Welcome to Green Gal's blog, where you'll find stories, recipes, gardening updates, and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems. This blog is written by a young woman entrepreneur who is also a beginning farmer-gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.
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