Birthowl’s natural childbirth

Building a Foundation for Compassionate Intelligence

by Diane GordonHow important is it for children to be exposed to nature? “Essential,” says Joann Lundgren, a long-time volunteer with the Foundation for Global
Community. “The earlier children connect with the natural world, the better for them and for society as a whole”

A parent, grandparent, former teacher and school principal, Lundgren heads a team from the Foundation which offers a course for parents and
teachers titled “Children and Nature.” Explains Lundgren: “Allowing the young child to experience the natural world is not just a nice thing to do.
It is vital. Children have a basic need to establish a deep emotional connection to the natural world. Until our society recognizes and finds a way
to honor this need, the future of our culture-and indeed, the future of all life-is endangered. Children who are denied the opportunity to bond with
the Earth are also denied the opportunity to develop a moral compass.


“It is this kind of profound bonding, first with the family and then with the Earth, that ensures that the child by age fourteen will have established a
foundation for compassionate intelligence-an intelligence that has the well-being of all life as its guiding principle. It is our job as adults to ensure
that our children develop that bond.”

One of Lundgren’s inspirations to create the course came from the writings of The Magical Child. The word
“matrix” is the Latin word for womb or origins and is defined as “that within which something originates, forms, or develops.” In Pearce’s model
each matrix provides a safe secure environment, a source of learning. The first transition from the womb and into a new matrix happens at birth,
which is where the Children and Nature course begins.

Photo by Etolene


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