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Mothering › Health Articles › Rachel Carson on "inborn wonder"

Rachel Carson on "inborn wonder"


A profound philosophical snippet about child-wonder, courtesy of famed ecologist Rachel Carson.


Just because.


IF A CHILD IS TO KEEP ALIVE HIS INBORN SENSE OF WONDER WITHOUT ANY SUCH GIFT FROM THE FAIRIES, HE NEEDS THE COMPANIONSHIP OF AT LEAST ONE ADULT WHO CAN SHARE IT, REDISCOVERING WITH HIM THE JOY, EXCITEMENT AND MYSTERY OF THE WORLD WE LIVE IN. PARENTS OFTEN HAVE A SENSE OF INADEQUACY WHEN CONFRONTED ON THE ONE HAND WITH THE EAGER, SENSITIVE MIND OF A CHILD AND ON THE OTHER WITH A WORLD OF COMPLEX PHYSICAL NATURE, INHABITED BY A LIFE SO VARIOUS AND UNFAMILIAR THAT IT SEEMS HOPELESS TO REDUCE IT TO ORDER AND KNOWLEDGE. IN A MOOD OF SELF-DEFEAT, THEY EXCLAIM, “HOW CAN I POSSIBLY TEACH MY CHILD ABOUT NATURE — WHY, I DON’T EVEN KNOW ONE BIRD FROM ANOTHER!”


I SINCERELY BELIEVE THAT FOR THE CHILD, AND FOR THE PARENT SEEKING TO GUIDE HIM, IT IS NOT HALF SO IMPORTANT TO KNOW AS TO FEEL. IF FACTS ARE THE SEEDS THAT LATER PRODUCE KNOWLEDGE AND WISDOM, THEN THE EMOTIONS AND THE IMPRESSIONS OF THE SENSES ARE THE FERTILE SOIL IN WHICH THE SEEDS MUST GROW. THE YEARS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD ARE THE TIME TO PREPARE THE SOIL. ONCE THE EMOTIONS HAVE BEEN AROUSED — A SENSE OF THE BEAUTIFUL, THE EXCITEMENT OF THE NEW AND THE UNKNOWN, A FEELING OF SYMPATHY, PITY, ADMIRATION OR LOVE — THEN WE WISH FOR KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE OBJECT OF OUR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE. ONCE FOUND, IT HAS LASTING MEANING. IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO PAVE THE WAY FOR THE CHILD TO WANT TO KNOW THAN TO PUT HIM ON A DIET OF FACTS HE IS NOT READY TO ASSIMILATE.


- RACHEL CARSON


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Danielle LaPorte

About Danielle LaPorte

Danielle LaPorte is the author of the book The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms (from Random House/Crown). An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she is the creator of the online program The Spark Kit: A Digital Experience for Entrepreneurs and co-author of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. Over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice on DanielleLaPorte.com, a site that has been deemed "the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality."

You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter @daniellelaporte



Comments (3)

At first glance, the information in this sentence seems simple enough. "If facts are the seeds that later produce knowledge and wisdom, then the emotions and the impressions of the senses are the fertile soil in which the seeds must grow" The profundity of the message, however, becomes obvious in deep contemplation Fabulous to post this work of the amazing, courageous, intelligent woman who wrote Silent Spring, thank you.
I posted this and tagged it on my FB page. I would take either formula but I think i would prefer the regular one. Thanks so much!!!
this posted to the wrong article...sorry.
Mothering › Health Articles › Rachel Carson on "inborn wonder"