My daughter is 16 and thinking about choosing a career. She is artistic and loves language and philosophy and music, art and writing. But she wants to make a difference, and has been agonizing over how to best accomplish her goals unless she becomes a scientist or doctor (both could help in her goal of teaching people how their environment impacts their health). In 2008, I heard Andrew Revkin, former New York Times Dot Earth columnist, give a presentation to high-school teachers and staff about the future of the environmental movement. The talk was interesting, but for me the the last few minutes were the most inspiring. Mr. Revkin walked away from his PowerPoint presentation and said simply and passionately, “We need everyone. The environmental movement has lots of scientists. We don’t need more proof that the planet is damaged. What we need now are politicians to make legislative change; writers and filmmakers to spread the message; sociologists to understand what keeps people from changing; marketers to show us how to influence mass change.”
We need people to spread the message.
If you have students passionate about the environment, encourage it. If they aren’t good in math or science, it doesn’t matter. All talents are necessary. We need everyone.
We need farmers. We need engineers. We need speakers. We need sociologists. We need teachers. We need builders. We need fundraisers. We need scientists. We need volunteers. We need parents to teach their children a new paradigm. We need people in technology. We need people who give us hope. We need healers and counselors. We need artists, filmmakers, writers, actors, musicians, and storytellers to spread the word about the rampant damage our society is inflicting on the planet, and encourage a mass behaviour change.
We all know that children are the future. Teachers and parents play a critical role in encouraging every child to be the part of the movement, to think broadly, to take part in creating a sustainable future in their own way. Encourage them in whatever direction their hearts and minds lead them. It’s their planet!