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On climate, the children shall lead

Students from across Maryland are taking part in a youth-led Global Climate Strike.

The children are marching — marching for the earth and us ('This is my future’: Thousands of students in Baltimore, across Maryland join global climate march," Sept. 20). You can’t separate the two; they are one. Why do they know that so directly and passionately and we, the adults, who are supposed to know and teach the children about who they are and what is important, do not?

The earth is a part of us and we are a part of it. Humans and nature mutually interpenetrate. The human self is multidimensional. One important aspect of humanity is our natural being — our primal affinity for the clouds, rivers, birds and animals. The children are in touch with this original knowledge, but we have forgotten.

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What is it that blocks this deep wisdom of who we are in essence — that prevents us from acting in defense of the earth when its life and our very lives are threatened? Why is it that we see the once beautiful resources of the earth as something to plunder rather than embrace? It’s our need for control. The children haven’t learned that from us — yet.

German philosopher Martin Heidegger attributes this obsessive need to a learned habit of mind: calculative thought — the over-learned tendency to develop plans for manipulating people and situations for personal gain. This type of thinking isolates us from the natural world. But take a walk along a wooded nature trail, sit on a beach and watch a brilliant sunset, or take the time to just look at the sky. Then tell me you don’t feel a love for the earth.

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We need to re-discover who we are and learn to harmonize with the earth before it’s too late.

Dr. Stuart Miller, Towson

The writer is a professor emeritus at Towson University.

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