Richard Louv, “Last Child in the Woods”

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richardlouv.com/books/last-child/videos/

Our connection with nature has weakened over the years, as fear, technology, and construction of parks have taken over. Richard Louv’s assertions regarding nature and the lack of contact between children and nature, are incredibly true. A moment I agreed with tremendously was when he stated, “That moment when you were three or four…found a rock…that moment of wonder is the source of all spiritual growth, how can we cut that off.”Children these days barely get out of the house, as they are constantly controlled by the wonders of technology. We see children with their eyes glued on phones, iPads, and other electronic devices in malls, cars, homes, supermarkets, school, and even at parks. How did it come to this? Personally, I never received a phone until I was in sixth grade, and it wasn’t an iPhone, but rather a cheap flip phone to call my dad in case of emergencies. Technology is not the only problem. Parks also serve as a factor to the disconnection between children and nature. Although parks serve as an alternative to exploring the woods, they do not create the same ambiance as a walk through the woods would. As Louv said, “A kid today can likely tell you about the Amazon rain forest—but not about the last time he or she explored the woods in solitude, or lay in a field listening to the wind and watching the clouds move”(Introduction). People like Louv, or even my parents, constantly remind me of the days they spent as children. My parents often start off their sentences with, “When I was a kid,” and then proceed to tell me how the phones or computers we own today never existed back then. Without the availability of technology we have today, they were more likely to go to the library and pick up a book, watch T.V for a limited amount of time, or play in nature, discovering every rock, stream, path, and animal. Louv believes this outdoor education is important because it is vital for our well-being. He believes that children diagnosed with diseases can be helped by simply going out into nature, and discovering the world. Louv also believes it is important because people are not exploring the world we were given. In the quote where he describes a child knowing about the Amazon rain forest but not their time in the woods, Louv is emphasizing the importance of getting out and exploring what is right before our eyes. I agree on all these points. I’ve always been taught to go outside when I’m stressed or sick. Instead of keep your eyes glued on the computer, go outside and just take a walk. Instead of playing on a game device, be creative and come up with your own game outside. There is so much to explore beyond the boundaries on which we live, and all we have to do is go ahead and explore them.

-Leena


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