Warning: I’m about to be blunt.
It’s not often I get angry. In fact parents have often said to me how patient I am. Some told me they wouldn’t have enough patience to home educate.
But the children rarely made me angry. They’re children; they’re learning and they’re not finished yet. Why would I be angry with that?
What really makes me seethe with fury is the ignorance of those who are grown up, those who should know better, those who are supposed to be setting an example for these young people to learn by.
Walking along the footpath that weaves it’s way through the trees and hedges in a delightful tunnel, which offers shelter from the open flat landscape here and the cut of the ever present wind, I come across two plastic bags hanging in the trees.
This is not that uncommon. We all see them blowing about the landscape and caught among the branches.
These weren’t like that though. These were two bags of dog poo that someone hung there.
Now it’s bad enough leaving dog poo for others to tread in, especially on pavements. But at least on the earth in wild places it decomposes. But poo that is bagged up in plastic and then chucked down, unable to decompose, demonstrates complete ignorance. Even worse, this act of ignorant desecration beats it all. As if the perpetrator thought it was someone else’s duty to clean up after them and collect the bags – even in remote places.
What I can’t understand is why someone, who I assume wouldn’t leave bags of shit in their own environment, i.e. their home, feels it’s okay to do so in the wider one. And in a place I assume they walk because they value it; I’ve also seen dog poo bags hung on fences and stiles – is this how we treat places we value? How irresponsible is that?
For whether it’s our home, our garden, our city pavements, our countryside, or the wider world, desecrating it like this is NOT OKAY! We’re responsible for ALL of it.
That’s what folks seem so ignorant about; the fact that’s it’s ALL our world, from our personal spaces to our planet.
And this is why we need to teach our kids to LOOK AFTER their world. Their bedroom world, their home, their town, their park, their planet.
Surely this is a fundamental of any education. A habit of care and an understanding of how this serves us. And of the fact that NO ONE should be cleaning up after us – we are ALL responsible for our own shit.
We can care all we want about learning facts for exams. But how important is that in the wider perspective of not giving a turd about the places we live in which support our learning lives, about environmental issues? This is a responsibility as much as learning anything is.
Teaching our kids about the little things personal to them, teaches them also a habit of taking care that will ripple out into the wider sphere.
And it’s OUR OWN ACTS WHICH EDUCATE. It’s a responsibility every grown up has.
So hopefully the next generation will grow up with the intelligence to understand why care of our environment, personal and planetary, is important, why it impacts on us all, and why it’s not okay to hang plastic bags of dog shit in trees.
(Sorry if the language offends – it gets like that when I’m angry!)