One of the things I like best is working with the younger generation. Whether it be through teaching them surfing or snowboarding, teaching them about the environment or just watching them do what they do, I simply just like being around them and helping them along their path through life. As a side benefit they help keep me centered and feeling young.
I know a lot of people are always putting down the younger generation by either saying they are lazy or going to ruin the world but I don’t agree with their assumption at all. As a matter of fact I truly believe most of them do get it and are our best hope for the future.
Unfortunately, as a child I wasn’t encouraged by my parents and it took me years to find my self worth so I have always felt it was important to try and encourage both children and adults to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.
This past week I was invited by a the science teacher at a local middle school to give an ocean friendly garden environmental presentation to three of her classes that was created by the Surfrider Foundation of which I am a local chairman. I had done the same this past year but still worried about being able to deliver a message and information they could both learn from and use in their current lives.
I shouldn’t have worried. Not only did the students get the message but asked very thoughtful and intelligent questions and were by and large very much engaged. To my surprise, many of the students asked how they could become further involved with Ocean Friendly Gardening and how they could learn more about it. In the end, about twenty students signed a sheet giving their names and parents contact information. As a result, I am now working with the OFG national director to come up with a program that can be used within the school, and hopefully other schools. The goal is to show them how, through Ocean Friendly Gardening they can, in their own yards decrease or eliminate the use of pesticides, water and fertilizer by using native plants, decreasing the amount of grassy areas in their yards while also reducing runoff to further help the environment and local rivers and ocean. In addition they should also realize a savings in monetary terms and make their yards more inviting to animals and insects.
This past fall I was involved at the same school with helping create a butterfly garden which the students and the art teacher participated in. Those students were very much engaged in the project and learned quite a deal from it. This spring our OFG committee is working with a local elementary school to put in a full blown OFG that they will use as a learning environment for the students and a place the entire community can enjoy. This particular school has a science curriculum that is so advanced it could be used in universities and one I wish I could have participated in when I was younger.
My point here is that I feel our future is in good hands with this younger generation. They truly believe they can make a difference and create change. These are the people who will be running our future businesses and corporations and hopefully governments. My hope and belief is that they will do it in a much more environmentally, compassionate and inclusive manner. We can help them through encouragement and support.
Thanks for tuning in and please send me comments and suggestion, like my site and share it with your friends. Aloha, Paul