ECO-Tours only purchases trees and dirt to plant them in...

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Wannabe? (the Rube Goldberg of Life)

I have tried to understand why so many of our hopes and dreams are based on trying to get to, acheive or become something we are not. Sometimes, we spend so much time living in an imagined future that we neglect where we are and potentially things that actually need to be attended to. Struggling to get to a better place, planning for it, putting off being happy for a future expected benefit seems to be nearly universal in our culture. The word wannabe has the solution to the angst created when we do not acheive our hopes and dreams embedded right in it. BE. I occasionally speak to the phenomenon most of us have seen played out in the natural world. Wild creatures, as far as we can tell, spend all their time in the state of be-ing. Although I have seen squirrels fall out of trees and they immediately look around to check to see if anyone (other squirrels) saw them fall. That is the most self-conscious activity I have seen out of many thousands of wild things I have seen and interacted with. I once had a fish that had been hooked badly, and he knew that it was not possible to get food through the smaller opening it left in its jaw, but that is just knowledge about a gross abnormality. It was difficult to ascertain whether it understood that not eating would eventually lead to death. I operated on the fishes mouth and it lived for many more years, healthy. It was not at all sure about letting me catch it in my hand, but after I had cut off the offending piece of jaw bone, with a wire cutter, he healed quickly, ate voraciously and always wanted to be on the same side of the tank as where I would stand or sit. So, how would our lives be different if we managed to just be together without internal,sometimes unconscious forces that push us to feel that we don't have enough money, enough space, enough education, enough food or enough love? Instead of operating from a belief in our own lack, if we just understood that everythng we actually need is not too far away or even, provided in abundance? How do we step away from th ehouse of cards we build to give us comfort in a desired future state and learn to BE in the NOW?
We have had a long history of not reaching our opitmum potential. We even thought we knew why.
Now, we are beginning to realize that some of the things we thought were impotant are not and other things neglected or ignored are the things we should have been paying attention to all along. One interesting example of that I have noticed is that after pushing the idea of getting children into academically challenging pre-K and Kindergartens, somthing well-meaning educators thought made sense fifty years ago, research is finally proving that idea to be wrong. For generations we have been trying to do good for our kids, but the opposite has happenned. Children that young need less academic training and more free play, stories, music and active movement. They need time to grow and develop make and develop social connections and learning skills that have nothing to do with letters and numbers. Their brains actually have no way of integrating those abstract representations of quantities, quantities and sounds. Their perceptual apparatus is attuned to something else that our culture underestimates the value of. Brain research confirms the same effects from too much and too early academic work leads to the same problems as getting too much screen time when you are young. Pediatricians have stated unequivocally, no child should ever be exposed to screen time before the age of two. The results are developing fewer social skills, less gray matter, less and shorter memory, lower reading and comprehension skills during High School and College. If there were benefits in the first grade, by third grade they were more than offset by these deficiencies. Parents don't want to have their children have lives with all the same issues and problems they did, but when we find something we tried to do to help our children actually hurts them, it may be a good time to stop. Real change is differnt than just going with the flow. Not everything we thought was true is actually correct.
Covid-19 has offered us an opening to change how we live. For decades ECO-Tours of Wisconsin Inc. has had play at it's heart. Digging in the earth to plant a tree is work, but when you do it for fun, it is, or can be, serious play. We use those openings to help our guests and bioneers have a more intimate relationship and interaction with nature, with the soil itself. With the landscape and the wildlife whose homes we are intruding upon. Many of the wild creatures who see us lugging buckets of trees into the remote areas we help reforest, must not understand what is about to happen, but more than once, a bird has come to a sedling we had just planted minutes earlier, landed on the tiny sapling tree, then, did their part and helped fertilize the new neighbor with a squirt of waste before flying away. None of us knows the ultimate result will be when we wannabe something or someone else, but we can all be sure that there will be different problems and concerns when we get there too. Many will completely blind-side us when we get close to fulfilling our dreams and aspirations. Accepting what is, instead of remaining distracted by what may come to be is what has allowed us to plant tens of thousands of trees with very little money. The desired future is slowly taking shape, but we can change the world for the better by remebering to "just" BE. When we shift our perspective, both foreground and background are fundamentally changed.
We often build twittering machines of sub systems to make our way through our days. Because we are living in such an un-natural state, out of the moment, trying to get ahead, make ends meet or keep up with our neighbors. It is easy to forget that truly seeing, truly listening and settling down to appreciate what we have may not even make it onto our radar. Like a mobile, the separate parts of our lives seem never to cross or bang into one another and each sub-system is like a constellation of it's own, moving in circles, centered on themselves. So many of us have built devices that help us to do all of the things that need to be done, but they are often held together with bubble gum and baling twine. These often disjoint sub-routines all have to click together in just the right ways to make it possible for us to survive. That creates it's own kinds of stress, an extra tax as it were on our energies and it adds up to inefficiency and eventually feelings of lack that take their toll. We have been doing things this way for so long that it has become second nature, but if any of the sub-systems get just slightly out of balance, our side hustle dries up or the lady doing day care gets sick, it can turn into a feedback loop of perturbation, aggravation, ever more frustrations and it can lead to collapse, exhaustion and bad decisions in other parts of our lives. Stress can kill and we have been keeping so many plates in the air for so long that we often forget, every once and a while, the frenetic spinning stops and the whole apparatus can fall.

No comments:

Post a Comment