We attended our first Master Naturalist class with 30 something other eager learners. This week we covered understanding the natural world, and how best to be a nature interpreter for the public.
Both instructors touched on some profound ideas that have stuck with me all week. We were told about EO Wilson’s Biophilia Hypothesis which states that we are all born loving things outside of ourselves, but that as we age we are trained out of that natural curiosity. We end up infatuated with our own species instead. Just look to our magazines at a newsstand and reflect on how many of them are photos of people’s faces. We are a culture that is fixated on itself.
As such, we have become distanced from our planet. Ultimately, we save what we love and until we can get people to cherish and feel empathy for nature, our environment will remain at risk. So as nature interpreters we need to spark interest in the natural world, to cultivate connections and bridge the emotional gap with people who have lost it.
We need to do more than just be stewards of our planet, we need to be its cheerleaders and promote new relationships everywhere we can.