You can lose hours on a beach or in a forest park. And such hours would be well spent. But we should bring our children with us. It’s too easy to leave them to their smartphones or laptops. They might be grumpy initially but connecting them to the world around them awakens within them their sense of spirituality. Technology tends to draw us away from nature. Nature is like a mother to us. We shouldn’t turn our back on her.

It would be hugely beneficial if we taught them how to actively seek out and celebrate emotional experiences that move beyond a fixation with the ‘self’. We could help reinforce their connectedness to other human beings, and their wider planet by ensuring that they didn’t always bring their devices with them. There would be some withdrawal symptoms and crankiness but children would potentially feel a deeper unity with the earth and a sense wonder and awe – two powerful positive emotions.
(C) Shane Martin