Photo of the Week: Passing on the Knowledge of Self-Sufficiency

Reader Contribution by Aaron Harris
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I decided to do a human shot for this week’s Photo of the Week. We’ve had food, we’ve had animals, and we even had Mickey Mouse. However, we don’t want to forget the people that make MOTHER EARTH NEWS and sustainable living possible.

What I like about this picture is the lesson behind it. The man in the picture is part of a community garden and he’s showing the young girl what plants he is growing. He may not be teaching her what they do — he could just be showing her the pretty blooms — but the great thing is he’s introducing this young girl to something new.

I’m a city boy, I’ll admit it. When I started interning here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, I knew as much about the various varieties of squash as I did about what currency is used in Bangladesh. I still don’t know much about squash, but I have learned a few things about sustainable living and environmentally friendly living.

I didn’t grow up with these things. My grandmother had a garden, but I didn’t pick up much from it. Unlike the little girl in the picture, I, and others too, did not grow up learning about gardening and self-sufficiency.

When we wonder why our children and others don’t know much about tasks that our ancestors considered simple, we have only to look at ourselves. The people who run the community garden pictured know this. They are teaching their children about sustainable living, even if it’s just one plant at a time.

The point is pretty simple, but not meant to be preachy: We cannot forget what we haven’t been taught. For sustainable living to continue and to flourish, every generation must be taught the same skills. It’s never too late, but why have to catch up when, like this man and the girl, the opportunity to learn is there from such a young age.

Our thanks go toMayaRae for sharing the gallery in which this photo appeared. Be sure to visit our free photo-sharing website,CU, and share your work for a chance to be featured in a Photo of the Week blog. You could even win a spot in the magazine!While you’re there, you can leave a comment on or rate other users’ photos.