A few days ago this video appeared on the social media channels. It depicted a little boy, probably no more than 5-7 years of age, crying and appearing very shocked about something he had seen or heard, something that triggered his emotional outburst. He was upset because people were wrecking the planet by cutting down trees and throwing trash on the ground. He could clearly think further into the future when he mentioned how “animals will have to eat the trash on the ground” and he felt hopeless because he was “only a child”. He wish that he was an adult so he could start doing something about it.
The mother of this child had titled the video “emotional environmentalist”. Also, she had added emoticons with a face laughing so hard tears are running down the cheeks. What was the point of that? Was the child´s reaction uncalled for? Was he overreacting? Was he being ridiculous?
When I saw the video, my eyes filled up with tears because I could feel his pain. I would cry for the planet, and I do, but that comes out bundled up in other frustrations: selfish people in the traffic, busyness of the every day life, feeling like you´re not enough.
Just a few weeks ago, I was shaking all over, because I was furious. I had witnessed a woman walking down the street, throwing the wrappers of her sandwich on the ground. I picked up her trash, biked to her and asked her if she had dropped something. Just as soon as she noticed what I was holding, she rolled her eyes at me and starting walking away from me. When I protested, and told her to please pick up her litter, she gave me the finger. Her reaction made me so furious, I started yelling at her, definitely not helping to solve the situation, and probably making things worse. In the future, she will probably be doing this even more, as a protest to any of us “emotional environmentalists” that meddle with other people´s business.
But I believe that the little guy in the video is showing the emotions of many many many adults who are unable to cry about it, but are reacting otherwise, with frustration, depression, other mental issues. There´s nothing exaggerated about his reaction. I feel guilty for all of us adults for making him feel like that and letting things go that far.
But I hope this little man will find a way to channel his frustrations, otherwise he will walk through life frustrated and anxious. I am only now finding ways to deal with my own environmental stress and despair. Though there are gigantic problems to be solved, and an individual can only do so much, and individual can still do her share. Individual efforts make a big difference in the end when combined with thousands or millions of other individual efforts.
I am trying to make a difference by teaching my kids to respect the planet, love the nature which we are part of and live responsibly. I try to show them a good example by making environmentally aware choices as much as possible, making sure they are no strangers to nature, be it the forest, the sea or the mountains, and I do this in any kind of weather. My hope is that they will grow up to be planet lovers, instead of planet wreckers.
I hope this little buddy´s family will grab the chance and support his passion by finding ways he can make a difference and feel his needs to save the planet fulfilled.
He is miles ahead most of us.
The video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbjabTS5kac