Ritual in a Changing World
by Sarah Lane at ProgressiveKid
Ritual is good for all families. Researchers tell us that family rituals make people happier (S. Harrar 2003, p. 28) for one thing. And they find in family routines experienced by kids of four years of age predictors of academic achievement at age nine (Barbara Fiese 2000). But some of the rituals a lot of us grew up with don’t mesh with the values and goals of the green movement, or they seem alien or even devoid of meaning to people with an awakening sense of concern for the planet. For example, the unsustainable practice of giving or receiving oodles of Christmas gifts can make us feel heavy and unhappy. The Fourth of July emphasis on explosions feels uncomfortable in an age of climate change, forest fires, and dwindling wildlife.
So what’s a green family to do? Here are some rituals that greenies can agree on and use as the foundation for more personalized adaptations based on individual belief and culture: Continue reading
Filed under: living green, parenting, social issues | Tagged: American Journal of Epidemiology, Autumn Equinox, Barbara Fiese, Christmas gifts, cortisol levels, Day of the Dead, Dianne Neumark-Sztainer, Earth Day, family dinner time, family routines, Fourth of July, frequent family dinners, gratitude, green movement, Joseph Califano Jr., Michael E. McCullough, National center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Project EAT, ritual, Robert A. Emmons, Robert Putnam, S. Harrar, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice, thankfulness ritual, The Importance of Family Dinners, Winter Solstice | 10 Comments »