Updated: Aug 22, 2021
We are all made up as a composite of our DNA, our ancestors and their experiences, socio-economic group, our environment, the climate and biosphere which is the backdrop to our lives. Our environments raise us, they inform who we are, we cannot be separated from them because they are part of us. From our knowledge and experiences to our behaviour and attitudes, everything in our environment makes us who we are. We are human beings not human doings yet when we meet someone we ask what they do, not about their being. I want to challenge you to introduce yourself to the person next you meet not in the way we normally would, "hello I’m Cara and I am a teacher" but to share something about your being and the environment that has shaped us.
Hello I am Cara. I was raised by the Pentland Hills and the water of Leith. The trees that raised me were pines and beech, ash and hawthorn. The birds that raised me were kestrel and chaffinches, yellowhammers and blackbirds. As I grew I was nurtured by rains off the Atlantic as I moved west. My springs were marked by the unfurling of the leaves of the balsam poplar and the flowering cherries. My winters were marked by breaking Ice on water troughs and helping with community Christmas events. I faced serious family crisis as a child and took on a caring role which helped to shape me and give me empathy. My choice to become a teacher was affected by having been bullied at school, my dyslexia and, by Mr Brown who encouraged me to do my best regardless of the challenges. It is part of my being to help, support, guide, and care for others. However my love of nature urged me become a countryside ranger and environmental educator because to be myself I have to be in my environment and know it as fully as possible.
To know the roots of my own being I have to know my place in this world and all the connections which have shaped me. These are just some of them.
What are some of the experiences which have shaped you?
What can you say about your own being?