Struggles are Inevitable in Nature and Action
I thoroughly enjoyed our class’ Skype visit with Collin Harris. He took action learning projects to a huge level by creating a non-profit campaign to encourage children to go outside instead of using so much screen time. He ran from coast to coast in nine months and stopped to talk to schools about his goals and the importance of being outdoors for everyone, especially children who spend too much time inside with technology. He finished his run on October 26, therefore he chose that day to become “Take Me Outside Day” where schools allow their students and staff an hour outdoors. His impact and his story are incredible and extremely inspirational to me; how one person chose to set his whole life aside for this passion of his.
Collin shared his struggles with us, and he faced some big ones. Financial struggle played a huge role and is still impacting him five years later, but he still believes he did the right thing. He told us that he struggles every day in his other environmental goals and he reminded us we will too. Collin reminded us that every day we will be making choices based on our world views that are going to be difficult and that we will sometimes make the “wrong” or less environmentally friendly decisions. But he also reminded us that that is OK. That struggles are inevitable.
He really opened up my eyes and made environmental education and environmental goals more realistic for me. I feel more confident in pursuing my AL project and of embodying it. I feel like making decisions around my consumption of hormone and antibiotic free beef is going to be a journey. A journey of struggles of reminding myself to be conscious and to question the beef products I am consuming. I feel better knowing I will not, and I am not, the only one who will face struggles while trying to achieve my environmental goals.
One more thing that Collin said that really inspired me was that he sees his AL project as a gesture, “a small gesture that can have a huge impact”. He described it in reference to friendship and if your friend is having a bad day and you call them to give them some positivity, this may seem like a small gesture, but it will have a big impact on your friend. That is also how he described “Take Me Outside Day” it is one day, but it is meant as a collective gesture in hopes that people choose to do it more often. He is pushing to create awareness that our youth need more time outside and that learning can be done beyond the classroom. This inspired me and even helped me realize that my project may be focused on my personal goal, and my group’s personal goals, but we could eventually have an impact on our class when we share our AL project. And I have full confidence that I will be sharing my knowledge with my peers and family. So, I too could begin as a small gesture that grows. Probably not nationwide like Collin, but you just never know.
Overall, I am very grateful for Collin’s story. I hope to answer his question someday, “what story are you telling and living to shape your world?” I want to create a story that has meaning to myself, which represents how much I love our environment and shows my dedication to helping sustain natural environments for years to come. I look forward to the struggles that help shape myself and my environmental education journey.