Valuing the World Around You
This lesson focuses on another type of respect: valuing the world around you. Learners analyze a John Muir quote and discuss what they can do to show respect for the world.
The learner will:
- analyze a quote about our connections to nature.
- discuss an example of a lack of respect for the natural world.
- brainstorm ways to show respect for the world around us.
John Muir was an environmentalist who wrote about the importance of the natural world, especially the Yosemite area. His writings embody respect for nature. Read the following John Muir quote: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." (This is often misquoted as "When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.") Ask the learners what this means to them and how it relates to respect.
Remind the learners that we have defined respect as "valuing yourself, valuing others, and valuing the world around you, being courteous and tolerant of personal differences." Ask why it is important to value the world around us.
Give the following example: "Imagine that our group decided to clean up a neglected and trash-filled lot in the neighborhood. We worked hard to recruit people to help, clean up trash, weed, and plant flowers. After several weeks, we went back to the lot and found it trash-filled and neglected again. How do you feel? What would have helped increase respect for what we did and how people view it? What do you think we could do next?"
Discuss and brainstorm ways people can and do show respect for the natural world, or the environment.