Teach To Care, Don't Scare This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   It has occurred to me that the most obvious way to solve our environmental problems has slipped the grasp of even the most intelligent people. Recently, televisions, radios, and street corners have been plastered with warnings of global chaos soon to wreak havoc in our lives. The truth is that these notes of our earth's declining health fail to inspire the average person to lend a hand.

The obvious answer is to try a new approach. I suggest that an attempt to build pride will work better than any preservation plan. In order to save the earth, we will need a message that bears on our pride and not our conscience. To do that we need only to emphasize the great majesty of the world around us. We cannot expect people to go out of their way to sacrifice for something they cannot see - unless we show them. More than half the people in the world will never see the rainforests, so how will they know it is worth saving? Instead of scaring them with tales of horror and fear, we must describe their beauty and significance. Teach them to marvel at the migrations of animals and fall in awe at the millions of species that inhabit the earth. Teach them to take pride in the only known planet to harvest life. Teach them to respect the gracefulness of the eagle and the power of earthquakes.

Tornadoes, hurricanes, and tidal waves are always discussed because of their destructiveness and never their mystery and importance. We cannot expect children to grow up caring for a planet that they fear, or know little about. If you give a child a present, and teach him to take pride in it, he will take better care of it than if you force him with threats.

Also, start young. It has been proven that skills learned at early ages stand a better chance of lasting throughout a child's life. Give them time to develop the care and understanding they need. Take them to the zoo and show them the wonder and amusement of nature. Then, by the time they're adults they'll take responsibility and teach a whole new generation the same lessons. Everyone knows about global warming, unclean water and air, and the destruction of animal species and rainforests. What they don't know is why they should really care.

This new theme of world pride seems to be the best approach to solving our environmental problems because it inspires the mental strength. ^

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
yesterday at 6:11 am
i love this so much!
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