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Transcendental Thinking in an Over Paced World

December 5, 2018



The natural world is something that has long been protected by the United States, and discussed upon by transcendental authors for centuries. The common theme in the blossoming American literary genre is that, as individuals, we must explore and live in the outside world away from the common flow of urban life. This was the theme in the 1800s, a time where young men had to chop down forests to build houses and hunting for sustenance was common place on the frontier. Yet as we have grown as a nation and as educated individuals who have distanced themselves from the natural world, our views on the need for nature in each individual life is still viewed as important.


As students, it is apparent that the Common Core standards have given no emphasis towards schools integrating the physical natural world into any aspect of the learning process. Teachers are in a position where falling one day off schedule can mean an entire lesson is lost. This means that even in most natural science classes it is almost unheard of to participate in any activity outside of the confines of the classroom. This is unfortunate because there are valuable lessons to be learned while exploring the natural world. While students are spending time outdoors they have the ability to interpret the world’s most uninfluenced systems and draw parallels to their own lives. On top of recognizing patterns and using critical thinking to make connections, partaking in activities like team hiking allow for communications skills to be built and worked on. Other lessons that can be learned are things such as visual problem solving when students approach obstacles that may impede their progress.


In adult life it is seldom seen that a workplace emphasizes the importance of self. The corporate lifestyle does not enforce or integrate any essence of the natural world into the workplace dynamic. The fight for efficiency and raw productivity creates workers who are less individuals and more cogs of a machine. Putting workers into these situations and promoting the idea that long and hard work will entitle a worker to more hours, a heavier paycheck, and even a promotion the reality is that these workers are being incentivized to give up more and more of their life to a company in order to make financial gains. This financial gain is intended to be used in the life you live outside of your workplace. The only problem is that more money to spend in less time coupled with the need to remain productive creates a cycle that mindlessly drains a worker of their own individual agendas. This essentially makes the worker a slave to their workplace systems.


As a member of the human race, I realize the benefits of exploring the natural world and utilizing one of our greatest and most abundant resources should be integrated into the lives of students and professional adults and recognized as providing valuable learning experiences. By building up skills that can be utilized both in nature and in everyday situations time in nature can be a highly advantageous preparatory activity. I implore that we take steps in our individual lives as well as our educational lives to listen to the words of men like Emerson and Thoreau. Take the time to distance yourself from everyone and everything you know and make that moment for and about yourself. This can help alleviate the woes of living in a fast paced and social oriented international community. When the focus is on what was here before us and the beautiful simplicity that thrives in land unformed by the hands of man, it becomes more apparent that everything holds its own place in this world and that every story, told or untold, is worth something to yourself and to others. Even in complete solace every living thing is connected and lessons may be learned in the wild that no book nor lecture may teach.


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