The man who planted trees

mainetrip-3It was movie night yesterday, a once a week event at our house since we’re sort of psycho about TV watching. Meaning we don’t own one or ever see it except where it has invaded every possible public space like telescreens in the book 1984. Parents seeking entertainment to engage their children are often at the mercy of twisted maniacal products from seriously out of balance designers in corporate boardrooms. Have you seen kid’s shows these days? Cynicism, boredom, sarcasm and rigid lopsided gender roles are systematically taught from toddlerhood onward, and whatever doesn’t teach those breaks our miraculous world of interwoven mysteries into manageable and fairly meaningless “educational” trivia. We’ve made the decisions we’ve made about our children’s education because we think children belong outside free ranging. I want to immerse my children as gently as I can into the context of their culture, one that’s gone mad in my opinion. How to give them the tools and understanding to negotiate within their society without turning them into the hungry ghosts so many become? I’m skeptical of them “watching” anything, unless it’s a live rainbow, a real hatching butterfly, a slowly changing snow melt pattern. And yet there are some pieces of artwork, some films that shift something deep in you. When thinking about media exposure we serve our children up bits and pieces, treasures of the creative minds of our culture, and hope they won’t take in too deeply the destructive messages hurled at them from every other corner. And here’s one I remembered from seeing it years ago in permaculture training and showing it years later at USC. It quiets me down, weaves hope through me, and reminds me of what human beings can do on Earth if we just shift our awareness and find our hearts. And I didn’t mind my children sitting inside watching it. It’s called “The Man Who Planted Trees.” I hope you’ll take a half hour to watch this tiny seed bomb of a film.

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