Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Goin' Green

It's been another great summer -- so far. I've had the pleasure of presenting my Bee Your Best character show in tons of libraries. The real payoff for me is seeing the enjoyment on children's faces during the program. They enjoy it, and learn some good lessons at the same time!

This summer I've also fit in some outdoor activities with my family. One of the fun things we do is camping. No, not in an RV or even a pop-up. We load the tent and the sleeping bags, the cook stove, a cooler filled to the brim with food, and anything else we can think of into the car and head off "into the wild" -- well maybe not the wild exactly. But a nice state park with hiking and fishing and swimming. That makes a great get away. There's something about getting up early in the morning and cooking breakfast in the outdoors--coffee in hand, birds chirping and whistling all around, and the inevitable chipmunk visiting to scrounge up an easy meal of whatever might be on the ground or thrown its way. It just clears the mind and helps set some priorities straight.
It also, helps me realize the wonders all around us. We live in such a mechanized, industrialized, and electronic laden world that the natural things often get pushed out of our everyday thought patterns. Mind you I don't think I want to go back to horse and buggy days, but I'm glad that we can still find places to push a lot of the modern-day clutter out...at least for a time.

That got me thinking. There is a lot of talk about going green these days. In fact the term "green" has suddenly gotten economic clout. You see it in advertising of all sorts. "Green" or "good for the environment" or some variation of these words help sell just about everything these days. Frankly, I've never been much of a green fanatic. Maybe because, as an ideology, it tends to be pushed a bit too far, and the people-part of the equation seems to get left out. However, there is a place for this. Personally, I prefer the term "stewardship". A steward is someone who's job is to take care of another's property. It brings with it the idea of responsibility. That, I believe, is something to take seriously. We need to be stewards of this wide and wonderful world we live in--not just for us, but for our neighbors (both near and far) and for those who will inherit this world after we are a distant memory.

I've been thinking about this. Stewardship is something worth teaching to our children. Doing the "green" thing is nice. But we need to be responsible -- not to the earth -- but to each other. I suppose it all goes back to the golden rule.