With all this talk about remote learning, it has me wondering how, going forward, our children will view the natural world around them. Will it be a vision in their mind? Like living inside a 3D virtual machine? Where nature has become a memory.
Yes, it seems that technology has taken over, like a vice. And while it appears that other animals are evolving naturally by adapting to the environment around them, the evolutionary trajectory of humans seemingly tends to gravitate towards modifying their environment and not adapting to it. I wonder, is this drive toward virtual environments just a natural advancement of our human evolution or is it an evolutionary modification that is forced upon us? The answer is the same as in the nature vs nurture debate. Each person can go on evaluating throughout the ages, with both sides having compelling arguments. Here is my take.
The rapid changes in the global economy, and the United States Department of Education’s attempts at finding a one-size-fits-all solution for American education, has thrust schools towards making STEM subjects—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – high on the list when it comes to teaching and testing. This shift is not entirely a bad thing as it provides our students with the ability to become competitive in an ever changing technological global market and must be included in our school systems. And this push forward in technology is nothing new. The discovery and inclusion of technological advances has steadily been going forward since the first humetech learned to speak and write on the cave walls. But I have a question. Does this shift to a totally ‘technological’ mindset diminish the importance the Humanities (and nature) plays when it comes to the whole student?
I would like to note, schools that have a symbiotic balance with all assets of the education system (administration, curriculum and instruction to teachers, students, family and community) provides a balanced and true outlook, looking at the qualities that our unifying self (natural and technological) have. We cannot dismiss that we are of both worlds, with no disconnect. We cannot take one over the other. I think this is most apparent as with our current Coronavirus bug, water shortage issues, or the current global warming crazes.
Therefore, when it comes to education and the ‘whole’ adolescent, we need not diminish the importance of technology (science, math, engineering, etc.). However, we need to put the tech with equal footing with all other parts of the education system that are just as important. By doing so, we strength the individual and broaden their intellectual foundations. Teaching them that the tech combined with their creative side can help promote critical thinking skills which can solve current personal, societal and world problems. It also makes them engaged as citizens and thinkers, reinforcing ethical responsibilities and values which helps them understand the impact that they have on their environment and society. By equal footing of humanities and tech we create well-rounded academics, students and thinkers that will continue to learn, grow and contribute throughout their entire life.
In closing, this methodical ‘tech only’ view has now created a humanitarian crisis. A worldwide madness of “indifference” toward our society, nature, animals and our fellow human beings. Humans are now detached, explosive and distasteful towards anything “other”. This could be in the form of destroying a person’s reputation because they hung up colorful lights to that of killing their own children because they were using video games too much. The rigid science of today has no feelings, no ethical codes, and no humaneness. By encouraging and teaching the human race within this sterile ‘mode’ of ‘science’ we ignore all that makes us human and thus creates just mindless bots – ready for any command.
After all these years, I am still awed by how each moment becomes a special memory. Yet, it is only to be experienced by those that are living within the moment as words cannot express the moment to the clarity of the viewer’s experience to the general audience.
As I sit upon my porch, looking around enjoying life, I noticed a wobbly baby sparrow jumping on the ground, and then onto a low growing leaf. She snuggled into a small spot, encasing herself in the safety of a large sunflower that was hovering over her, as though protecting her from the onslaughts activity above her. A crow squawked overhead and she hunkered down hiding within the leaves.
I sat throughout the day watching to see if her parents came to her rescue. I noticed in the flower beds that there were numerous babies with their parents, wings flapping and mouths open. Parents were fluttering around finding food and bringing it back to their offspring in numbers. However, for this little babe, nothing. Every time a parental bird stopped nearby, she too flapped her wings and opened her mouth. But unlike the others, there was know-one. It was heart breaking when nature slates one and not another for survival.
This little bundle of joy was not going to survive, unless somone stepped in to help. As we rehabilitated a wild bird before, and already had the knowledge, we decided to take it upon ourselves to help this little one. From sunrise to sunset we went out and fed her. We had to feed her every hour. After a week, she would recognize our movements, and with excitement, she’d jumped onto the railing, flapping her wings, with mouth open waiting for us. Another week went by and she began eating on her own. It did not take her long before she started to fly. It was small at first. Flapping her wings from plant to plant in the front flower garden. Then she went from a plant to a small tree and then from the small tree to the large oak across the street. With each flight her bravery grew and so did our pride.
With each night she flew across our suburbia road to her “sleeping tree”. It is a gigantic oak tree, full of leaves and other sparrows chatting away. Our little baby was growing up. As any parent, we would cringed as fast cars drove by, oblivious to her flying around.
For months, the whole entire summer, we watched her. She became self-sufficient and independent. Awww! We sighed a sign of relief as our baby was now on her way.
As morning broke, we noticed her on our porch. She was excited and happy. In the next breadth she took to flight across the road to her favorite tree. However, this was a memory that would be burned in my mind forever. As she flew low, a fast car came around the corner and hit her head on. She had no chance. The person driving, oblivious to this little life around them, continued on.
It broke my heart to have to bury this innocent soul. I often was asked the question of whether or not the fate of this tiny bird was slated at birth and was I was only extending the inevitable?
Someone asked me, if it was worth it. I stated with absolute clarity, “Yes”. Our existence effects others lives and create ripples that can be felt throughout time.” Although her life was short, she filled ours and will never be forgotten.
I could not resist. I had to have her. Who could resist this sweet young girl rolling around in the cage, looking up at you with those beautiful green eyes? I fell in love, even before I held her in my arms. I knew she was mine. So I took her home.
The past year we have had our share of heartbreak, losing our loved ones to various ill’s, from heart problems to old age. A family of 12, we are now down to two. Coming home from work each day, the house seems spiritually quiet and my purpose in life seems to have escaped me, that is, until Baboosi entered our lives.
Drawing her out of her shell wasn’t easy. When we brought her home her first instinct was to hide. She found a good spot away from all of the noisy routines of the day and for the first couple of days just listed to the sounds around her. She came out every once in a while to use the cat box and to eat, but all in all she was very scared. It took all of my might not to pickup her up and kiss and cuddle her, letting her know that it would be ok. But I know that this would do more harm then good. I had to be patient. Letting her come out on her own steam.
After the third day, I periodically went into the room to talk with her. I did not want to violate her space or her security or faith in me, so I did not pet her or touch her. On the 4th day, she came out and laid on the bed with us. We approached her to pet her she ran back to her safe spot. This was remarkable, her coming on the bed. On the the 5th day, she started playing with my toes under the covers. What a surmountable amount of trust. I was finally able to pet her.
The next few weeks Baboos began to show her personality. She loved to run, lay in my Christmas cactus, watch the birds outside my window. She would run up to you with her tail straight up, then bolt as soon as you reached down to pet her. She loved her small mouse, throwing and catching it around the house. Another couple of weeks, she now comes into the bedroom, jumping between my husband and I. She would “plopp” herself down as to announce that she his here and “pay attention to me”. She purred very loudly as we petted her and she loved to get kisses on the head. When she got her fill show would bolt off the bed, as if she had something better to do, her tail strait up in the air – stating her proudness.
After a good couple of months, Baboosi runs the house. She announces herself when she enters a room and runs onto our bed every night to say good night. She has brought a lot of love and noise back into our house and we are very excited that she has welcomed us into her heart.
Tattooing and/or giving your pet a piercing has become a trend among pet owners. There was one case of pet tattooing in NY by a Brooklyn tattoo artist on his dog. He posted pictures of the dog on various social media sites, which, of course, went viral. He claimed he did it while the dog was sedated in the vet’s office after surgery, but that didn’t make any difference to animal activists. ASPCA was outraged over this incident. Yet, where are they when a vet can tattoo a dog under the guise of identification purposes?
New York and Pennsylvania, to date, are the only states to specify tattooing and piercing as acts of animal cruelty and therefore have made it illegal.
Our question to ask is should tattooing and piecing of pets be considered animal abuse and why?