09 June 2015

413: Bears and Babies - How we Force Others to Change Instead of Changing Ourselves

I've been looking at an interesting point the last few days:

Where I live is outside any major city... about 2 hours north of Vancouver. I live in Whistler, a ski/mountain resort town in the middle of the mountains off of the West Coast in British Colombia, Canada. Quite a different environment from where I grew up, which was Minneapolis. A major city in the mid-west of the US, where we lived in specifically designed neighborhoods with re-planted trees along the blocks that somewhat shielding you from your neighbor’s upstairs windows. In that, were alleyways. And in these alleyways is where you would put all your trash accumulated in your house. You put your trash in a bag, you put the bag into your own little dumpster in the back of your house, and once a week the garbage man comes to collect it.

That is not how it rolls here in Whistler. We live along side the bears and so no way can you leave trash sitting out waiting for someone to pick it up. To think, you have to actually bring it to the site in which all garbage in Whistler is collected. This is obviously because if the trash were to be put out in the yards, bears would be coming around more often than they already do make appearances without it.

The interesting point is soon to be revealed...

After listening to a fellow destonian's vlog regarding her visit to her hometown, which is in a city in Belgium, and the differences she noticed from there and from the farm lifestyle she was living/coming from, she brought up one interesting point. The point about children, and how usually it goes that the child is forced to adapt or adjust to ‘our’ environment and they learn the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’t’s’ and they are basically guided to move and behave in a particular environment that WE want them to behave in… basically making the child adjust to our environment. Though what this vlogger was sharing is how when her nephew, Cesar, was born, they adjusted their environment so that Cesar could explore and develop and expand within his own life. So rather than him being forced to mold into a particular ‘way of life’ of how others (adults) wanted him to move, as constantly telling him, 'no, don't do that, don't go there', and inhibit how he interacts with his environment, they instead secured/changed his environment to be a place where he could safely and with support, do what he would like, to explore, investigate and learn without any limitations imposed on him as how ‘life should be’ as how the adults decided he should interact and exist within the environment. And I thought this was such an awesome point – imagine – an environment being changed so that a child could grow without limitation, rather than the child learning the limitations of their environment, imposed on him from the generation gone before.

And so after considering this point, I realized that is what we have here with the bears and the garbage. Instead of us moving into their environment, and expecting them to simply move aside and get out of our way, and so leave our trash on our curb as how we would like it… WE instead are put into the position to become responsible for our own trash, thus adapting to our environment where there is other life existing besides just us humans. And I thought what a cool point this is – to have to move my trash to the site myself. Instead of expecting the bears to adhere to how we would like our environment to be, as leaving our trash out and not having bears or other animals entering our environment, we rather adhere to the environment and habitat of the life around us.

Now obviously the consequences of us not would be more bear interactions and not necessarily something you should be asking for. Though in principle, it’s quite a cool point – humans actually taking responsibility for their own lifestyle and the waste they produce, and considering others around them, and the environment that does not need any more of our interference. So instead, like the example with Cesar, making the bears adapt, we instead adapt. Allow the bears to live without creating consequences for ourselves or them. Just like, let the child live, without imposing our own preferences onto them as the limitation within their environment – rather allow them freedom to explore and check things out and get to know what is here as their physical reality/environment; nourishing the human potential instead of imposing beliefs and ideas unto them of who they ‘should’ be and ‘how’ they should be.

It’s interesting because it’s as if we, adults, don’t like change, and to think something may come into our routine/living space and force us to change it, we absolutely resist it. Yet we force a child to change, and we force the animal kingdom to change and move according to our will. And our will lacks common sense and a best for all approach to the way of life on Earth.

So just a point to consider – when do you impose ‘your way’ unto others without considering what you are inhibiting in them, or where do you resist changing your ways simply because they are ‘your way’ and apparently right? Have you ever stopped, and considered another’s opinion or perspective or suggestion? Have you ever considered changing yourself before expecting others/animals/the earth to change/bend/mold to your way?

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