A line I’ve heard from parents more than once the last few months: “How do I have time to worry about the environment? I’m just trying to love my kids.”
And when the dinner needs to be made, Johnny needs help with homework, the car needs an oil change, Katie’s being bullied, and our company is shipping jobs overseas… then worrying about the environment falls pretty low on the list of “things to do right now.” I understand that.
I also understand that we’re living in crazy times. The 21st century is the most exciting time in the history of the world to be alive. Exciting and scary. Every living system in the world is in decline and that decline is accelerating (Paul Hawken). While we say we care about democracy and jobs and nature (for us and our kids and even other kids), our actions speak more loudly. There are millions around the globe fighting for justice and a future, but the billions that go with the flow (because they are struggling just to keep up) give more power to the status quo. But going with the flow (or as Howard Zinn might say, we can’t be neutral on a moving train) only makes the necessary changes more difficult. So, if we love our kids, we’ll change priorities. We’ll find time to become informed (getting past the ‘sound bytes’), engage in the political process and support transformative change.
Becoming an environmentalist shouldn’t be about adding to your “To-Do” list, but it may change how you spend your time, money and efforts. It may mean less time at the office and more time with your family. It may mean less money on TVs, cars and fast food and more on local and organic food and cooking. It definitely means engaging in the political process to hold business and politicians accountable. Hopefully, it also means working to develop your children’s creative skills (asking for change at schools too, please!).
Loving your kids and doing good ought to be one in the same- and improve your quality of life while giving your kids a world that has a chance.
Love & Peas, Tim.