TOWARDS ECOPHILIA:  Being Hopeful in Spite of It All

This is the first installment of a two-part series. A plague of digitalization is sweeping through American youth, infecting all whom it touches. Teens quake in horror when their cell phones are out of their grasp. Only a regular diet of media stimulation fends off the pain of social isolation.  But hark, I feel a breeze on my face. Possible salvation hides playfully in the lush meadows and behind boulders. Strands of laughter beckon from the leafy glade. Before we follow the laughter, let’s imagine a similar plague and its cure a century ago.    Jacob is twelve years old growing up in Pittsburgh in 1909. He walks the thronged streets on the way to school amidst the clatter of carriages, the shrill screech of the steam whistle, the roar of steam from escape pipes. He weaves amongst piles of bricks and mortar, mountains of coal waiting to be loaded into blast furnaces. He coughs as he inhales the gases and particulates of burnt coal and wood and the villainous stench from thousands of factories. Few trees, fewer birds survive the daily onslaught of America at work. To avoid the miasma of the streets, Jacob spends his afternoons squirreled away inside with a book. With summer comes a […]