Having just spent some time watching BBC documentaries on the planet, I feel tears roll down my face.
When as a human race did we go so wrong ? I struggle to understand how we see our species continuing, as we pursue a life so opposing to Mother Nature. My partner reminds me all to well of the matrix quote from Agent Smith
“Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You’re a plague and we are the cure.”
I’m baffled every day how what is considered “normal” parenting methods (where the practices I subscribed to are consider weird/odd/strange) are the most detrimental to our planet. You know who’s left on our planet when we die? OUR CHILDREN and their children. So why as a species are we so happy to destroy it.
And yet it’s more than that. The most emotionally advanced mammals on our planet are not disowning their young as soon as they can, they aren’t sending them into a room to sleep alone, they stay connected with their young for life. Orca whales have an extra emotional part of the neocortex, a 4th section of the brain, humans just don’t have! I have no doubt this is because the bond to their offspring is so much more attached than that of humans and their dyads. Dolphins, walrus and even primates stay with their young and for most of their life. Yet here us humans are, criticising a mother (in the western world) for bed sharing with her young, shops are stocking countless books offering you solutions on how to force the fictional “self-soothing” and “sleeping through” and where with 99% (in Britain) of babies are receiving factory modified cows milk rather than human-specific milk after 6 months.
We are the only animal on the planet that seems to have decided not to follow nature in rearing our young, and in turn, we have decided that detachment creates emotional stability and isolation is disguised as teaching independence.
Perhaps it’s the very reason we find these things acceptable, that we are the species fast forwarding the destruction of our planet. Not only that but we justify our reasons, “I need to do it this way for my job, I needed my sleep, my partner doesn’t like to sleep alone, my child use me as a comforter, they need to learn” with so many believable excuses it’s easy to understand how these justifications go unchallenged.
I would question what’s the point? child mental health is in decline, not too dissimilar to that of the planet and the joining parallel is the conventional commercial parenting ideals being used on a higher frequency. But to what end! When your justifications are around your own mental well being, I question what drove you to become a parent. If you have no concern for your actions on the planet are you then not concerned about the world you leave your children with?
It’s sometimes a guilt of mine and my partners as to why we brought children into a dying world and perhaps the motives were of a selfish fulfilment. It’s that through, that drives me to ensure I’m providing the ultimate towards their well-being and not sacrificing their future life for any further selfish fulfilment.
I’m not a saint. I’m a sucker for a new dress for a special occasion, I like nice things, I enjoy the occasional “treat” when I’ve got an extra bit of money, rather than giving to a deserving charity, I still buy into the concept of birthdays and Christmas presents despite a clear push from my partner to drop these “commercial holidays” and I still find my self occasionally grabbing something from the supermarket surrounded in plastic rather than always baking from scratch. We have to make progress though. It’s a change we all have to make. As parents though there are simple things we can do.
We can be the change, move back to reusable nappies, consider elimination communication. Bed-share rather than waste resources on cots, where medically possible we can breastfeed rather than increasing demand on the dairy industry and with that the production of plastic for bottles, increase demand for breastmilk banks so we don’t have to rely on man made milk, carry our children increasing their close promixity, allow mothers to engage in society with their babies and not demand they leave them at home or stay at home, cinsider sacrificing those drunken nights out and chose to nurture our newborns and infants, look at reducing your plastic and look at adopting a plant based diet for you family.
I’m sure a lot of you are thinking these are extreme, but times are extreme. As parents, we owe it to our children that they have a planet to leave to their own children. We can not only think of ourselves now. We need to watch and learn from our other fellow animals on this planet and re-engage what it really means to be an immersive natural parent.
And so I end this post with another quote from the matrix “Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you.”