No simple answer.  In my case, the fact that I had parents whom encouraged  my sister and I to experience the outdoor world in the raw, at an early age, is where appreciation for nature first erupted.  The total wonder that captures the imagination of kids at an early age is the same one that ignites our innately human capacity of asking questions about everything around us. Why this, why that?

Engaged with nature outside, up close, personal, and at an early age, is an atmosphere much different from that experienced indoors and in front of a  computer screen.  Like fishing in the ocean and having no idea what might bite, surprises in nature can jump out at you from almost anywhere. And that quest for the unknown, lurking everywhere, is always exciting,

Sure, you can learn about nature watching movies on you tube or other technological media, but only because it comes from someone out on the ground who spent the necessary time required to capture it. But learning intellectually, is not the same thing as experiential learning. One affects the mind, (logic and reason) the other affects the heart.(emotion). Passion is created from emotion, and without it, one cannot become “compassionate” about much of anything.

A world without compassion is one that could suffer harshly in the department of natural stewardship. Passion is like gas, it is the fuel that keeps the engine running. So education, intellectually and emotionally is important. It is the driving mechanism guiding our decisions which affect the planet.

Our decisions create our reality, and build our history. Being human, our decisions can be both good and bad. These choices are revealed in the consequences they lead to, often spelled out in the landscape that by succession soon becomes our new world. If we forget history, and forge onward without it, we are likely to repeat the same mistakes over an over again. If we are to learn from it, we first have to remember it, and if we don’t know about it to begin with, that means research.

I had a poor high school history  teacher, lazy mostly, who was more interested in students memorizing dates, rather than learning about cause and effect, which lead to why things became as they did. Nothing could be more boring. But, when I began floating rivers, and wondering how people lived in the canyons before I arrived, that fueled my fire to learn more.  Now, I love history and have gained a lot of interesting insights as to why things in nature are as they are.

So history and education are important because it is how the world is shaped. Our future is determined by the choices we make today, so we need all the help from history and education that we can get.

Rivers make good medicine with us, we make good medicine with rivers.
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