“A New Role Model”
By: Forrest Rivers
As a society, we place great emphasis on cultivating role models for our youth. Unfortunately for us all, ours reflect the egoistic values of the culture. These principles include: celebrity fame, material wealth, physical beauty, and personal charisma. It should not be surprising to find that actors and actresses, athletes, business leaders, pop musicians, and even politicians(at least in the age of Trump) become the objects of our youths’ affection. As more of us come to awaken, we will see that our youth need new role models to emulate and loving guides to follow. The question is, who will stand in to replace our pop-culture icons?
How about parents? If they were to live more freely and were not as inhibited by societal conditioning, then possibly. Until then, most young people will go on regarding their parents as out of touch with the realities of being a child. What about teachers? Surely they play an instrumental role in the evolution of our youth. Unfortunately, many children come to regard their teachers with great suspicion. For either subconsciously or consciously, many young people believe educators are conspiring to sequester their souls. To an extent they are right. The formal education system is little more than a rigid indoctrination machine. It trains our youth to become good worker bees and consumers. Personal growth is relegated to the back burner. Might our church leaders come to fill this gap? How many young people WILLINGLY attend religious services?
Let’s think grander. Need our new role model(s) even be in human form? This brings us to a more suitable candidate who also happens to be the epitome of perfection: Mother Nature. Why couldn’t the majesty that is the green oasis, stand in for our standard bearers of ego? There is already a precedent for this. Scattered throughout the world, are numerous indigenous tribes who regard the earth as sacred. From holding her up as an idol, our youth would learn how to coexist with all beings in a peaceful and harmonious manner.
Through observing the interactions between a flower and a bee, children would learn about cooperation. From the tree it would learn about faith, for the tree trusts that rain will fall and the sun will shine. Atop the summit of a mountain, our youth would be schooled in the way of unity as they gain a bird’s eye view of how her wondrous singularities (such as the water, rocks, and trees) give form to the whole of a picture perfect mosaic. Finally, the child would learn of truth. They will see that no being in the natural world lives by way of deception. Each act as they are intended to by our Creator. The snake hunts and kills frogs and rodents to survive. It is not ashamed of who he is by nature. Nor does the tree dress up as a mountain so that she may impress the river. The tree is content with just being it.
Most importantly, elevating nature to that of “guru” status would make us all more loving and compassionate beings. Let us set out together to spread the word that we have re- anointed an old and long lost role model: The Earth.