A Wake-up Call on the Dying Nature

San Min Junior High School, Kaoshiung City, Teacher, R.O.C. / Fang, Wan-yu

Life is here to stay, but yet is going away. Considering the potential transience of time, we spare no effort to make life as brilliant as possible. “But, how?” We may wonder. The first thing strikes us may be the life technology. Needless to say, the cutting-edge technology brings about the burgeoning inventions that really enhance the quality of life. For example, we invented cars, trains, high-speed rail, and even airplanes for passenger travel or freight service. To quench heat, we came out with refrigerators, electric fans, and air-conditioners. To make information go around, we invented computers to help conduct the transition. All these inventions are in for tomorrow’s future that absolutely accelerates the efficiency of life. However, while we celebrate the promising future, we may unconsciously fall into the vortex of supremacy.

Human beings as us have fragile hearts that are easily captured by wealth and power. Nowadays, life technology is not such the tool to better life quality as the avenue to make fortune, to claim the fame, and even to stage pride and privilege. That is to say, we set up standard to judge the degree of development of a country and rank it by the world competitiveness yearbook. To some extent, we regard industrial power and commercial profit as the symbol of competitiveness. Thus, for some countries, they cling to the advance of technology and exploit it to procure natural resources so that they can boost their industry, carry out commercial benefit, and take over the power of industrial reign. Under such circumstances, people there are orientated by money and materials. They care nothing but their own profit so that they create the ugly machines to wipe out green lands, tear down the wildlife’s habitat, drain out natural resources, and even let off poisonous chemicals. They wreck havoc on the Mother Nature, leaving the value of other lives into oblivion. In this way, the worst scenario is that their selfishness triggers nature calamities, eventually putting our species on the ragged edge of life.

However, who is to blame? The industrial countries with aggressive behaviors? Not exactly. I would like to say this is all about the morbid society trumpeting commercial interests which inflict on the destructive behaviors out of the dark side of human nature. What’s worse, the destructive behaviors may pierce into the education system in that children are taught to study hard so that they can take good occupation in the society and make more money. That is, the so-called credentialism leads our kids only to focus on their own interests, not on others’, so they destruct, not construct.

Overwhelmed with the sense of responsibility as a junior high school teacher, I grappled with the question: How can I help my students build constructive mindset and learn to make contribution to the society? One thing is for sure. I should have them start to know the significance of global citizenship, recognizing themselves as global citizens. I lead students to join the online project like CCOC (connecting classroom online community) that really break the boundaries and expose them to different cultures. Through the online learning community, they join the world forums and learn to respect other cultures. Also, with the topic discussion, they have more opportunities to understand the world issues, fostering the charisma and generating the sense of responsibility. They are trained to be open-minded, responsible, and positive. I think this would be part of character education which could be a drive to motivate the students what and how they can do for our society. To save our world from destruction, I think we should start from the education because the teacher is the changemaker, and the child is the key to the new world. In my opinion, helping students be aware of their responsibilities as world citizens and practice their obligation is the priority to cease the earth disaster. Let’s do it from hearts!