Nature Deficit Disorder

Personal outdoor living space in cities and urban areas continues to diminish! Huge homes are constructed on postage-stamp yards, swamped with chemicals to look “green”. Today’s kids spend most of their outdoor time in highly supervised competitive group athletics with dualist win/lose outcomes on chemical polluted surfaces that appear green!

Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv’s best seller, gives compelling evidence of loss of crucial childhood developmental skills associated with discovery and creativity. He identifies contemporary research findings by social and behavioral scientists linking health issues with lack of direct contact with nature. Nature Deficit Disorder is identified as an unmet biological need in all postmodern cultures.

Harvard biologist Edmond O. Wilson postulated his “biophilia” hypothesis in 1984 as “the connections that humans unconsciously seek with all life forms”. Wilson’s definition was an elaboration of noted psychologist Erich Fromm’s acknowledgement of “ human love of life and living systems”.

Parents are literally killing themselves to “pay” for all their stuff and their kids’ stuff, while consuming food laden with pesticides and insecticides because their hectic schedules no longer accommodate planting, harvesting, and eating food together. There is little intimate direct contact with natural systems. However, time in nature is essential leisure time, offering a priceless investment in wellness and good health! Leisure time in nature is NOT a self-indulgent luxury—it is essential for holistic wellness!