Ecowarrior Jr. Manifesto
With the way we’ve abused and continue to abuse the Earth, the odds of our children growing up in a stable and prosperous future are just about nil. As responsible, loving parents how do we prepare our children to ideally help put humanity on a sustainable path, or more realistically to survive the collapse, and bring about a new system from the ashes of the old if we fail?
At the simplest, we must raise our children mindfully, pushing them to be ecowarriors (individuals truly committed to defending the Earth and thus humankind, which is dependent on the planet for its survival), even as nearly every cultural force pushes them to be unthinking, Earth-devouring consumers.
Here are principles I’m keeping in mind as I raise my son, to help get me through the challenges ahead:
- Provide children with key skills needed to prepare them to work both to create a sustainable future and, if that fails, to live through the ecological collapse;
- Establish rituals (daily, yearly, life-cycle) that reinforce their relationship with their community and with the Earth;
- Never lie—be honest about what’s coming, and how we’ve gotten here;
- Teach them to consume little and strive to be a restorative ecological force on the planet;
- Provide them with a sustainable and healthy diet, one that they help grow and prepare;
- Engage them politically and in service from an early age.
This is a working list that will surely change as I go from baby stage to the toddler stage to the child and teen stages. Right now the working principles are much simpler: keep his footprint small (cloth diapers, used clothes and toys, borrowed books), spend lots of time outside, raise him ourselves, breastfeed him, and cook him real, healthy food, and get him actively involved in household operations.
Comments, additions, modifications welcome below. Or send a note to raisinganecowarrior [at] gmail.com.
Your words remind me of Nelson Eddy singing:
Give me some men who are stout-hearted men,
Who will fight, for the right they adore,
Start me with ten who are stout-hearted men,
And I’ll soon give you ten thousand more.
Shoulder to shoulder and bolder and bolder,
(men/women of course)
Yours is a good start.
[…] Many suggested I hate pets or even all animals, or am incapable of love, which I found funny as I like pets–and have committed my life to sustainability to prevent the mass die off of life on Earth, including humans. Heck, I would even enjoy having a cat, but I don’t because what I know about how close to collapse we are, it’d be irresponsible to (the same reason why I feel compelled to have only one child). […]
[…] her afterwards with my son. I told her I appreciated her frank remarks. And that I’m trying to prepare my son for the radically different future that’s coming—even training him in ancestral skills. She then told us she was Cherokee—which helped clarify […]