Thursday, September 07, 2006

A real way to end war

Oh to have a lodge in some vast wilderness. Where rumors of oppression and deceit, of unsuccessful and successful wars may never reach me anymore.
- William Cowper, poet (1731-1800)

It would be nice to escape all the bad news. Most of us wish for that if we live long enough.

Cowper wanted to go to "some vast wilderness." Why not just meditate somewhere in the city?

When a person feels connected to nature--a real part of the nature that surrounds him or her--he or she also feels connected to other people. Oppressing or deceiving other people you feel connected to in a positive way is not likely to happen.

Wars happen in cities. Not since the days when Agent Orange that was used to denude "enemy territory" of all forms of plant life so movement of opposition troops could be seen from the air have planes dropped bombs in rural or wilderness areas.

War is a city thing. It was, apparently, when Cowper made his statement in the 18th century.

Regretting the disconnection of people in cities from our origins in nature provides little help for the problem. Only when children are taught to connect on a real and palpable basis with nature can there be any change toward elimination of oppression, deceit or war. Of course there is more to it than that. Rejoining nature is the beginning.

If you have been a part of connecting a group of children with nature, you know how any disputes among tham are forgotten, how any bullying disappears, how much joy they share in getting their hands into the dirt to plant something, to grow something or to inspect something.

As always, real social change must begin with children.

Bill Allin
'Turning It Around: Causes and Cures for Today's Epidemic Social Problems,' striving to help everyone make the connection back to nature and peace.
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