This post is also available in: Dutch.
Young people face a lot of problems, and recently a name has been invented for one of those ‘modern’ problems. You do probably expect me to talk about the ‘over-twittering’ or ‘hyper-pinging’ syndromes, which certainly are or will be topics of importance, besides the fact that walking about with a constantly bowed head throughout the day can only lead to chronic neck pain, not to mention RSI-symptoms like sore and stiffened thumbs (admittedly, I also own a smartphone, so I feel the risks). However, the problem I’m talking about has nothing to do with technology. On the contrary. In England, it was recently officially established that youthful cosmopolitan English youngsters are absolutely not comfortable in their own skin because of a chronic lack of interaction with the natural environment. They suffer from the ‘nature-deficit-disorder’. The symptoms are a lack of concentration, and on the whole they do less well at school.
It is becoming clearer all the time. We need a daily touch of nature to function properly. A pinch of fresh air containing the aroma of blossoms. Or an encounter with a special animal.
Unfortunately, I am unable to send you a wonderful aroma through this medium. What I can do is to invite you all to – consciously – look around as much as possible and enjoy what our natural environment has to offer. I hope the state portrait above inspires you all to do so. I took this picture along the side of a road, simply from the car. The model apparently had no problem with the ‘photo shoot’, for this young Warawara (Caracara cheriway, see also this article) stayed put quietly. The meeting proved a powerful and inspiring ‘nature moment‘ for me, about which I still felt great much later on. Perfect medicine against the ‘nature deficit disorder’. And you don’t need a prescription from the doctor.