Jeremy is tired. He stayed up too late last night, but he just couldn’t quit playing that video game. His folks would have a fit if they knew he went to bed at 3:00. Oh well. He’d stop and get something to wake up on his way to school. Stopping by the corner convenience store, Jeremy grabs a couple of high energy drinks. The first 20 ounces are gone before he hits campus, the second, disappearing by the end of 1st period. He notices the fog begin to lift and his headache recede. By second period Jeremy is fully awake and ready for action, or so he thinks. Little does he know that the caffeine coursing through his system is playing havoc with his central nervous system. His breathing is shallow and fast, his heart rate is accelerated. This class is boring! Lacking the ability to really concentrate or focus on what the teacher is saying, Jeremy starts visiting with his friends at the back of the class. He needs something fun to do. This class is bogus! Speaking more loudly than he should, Jeremy draws the attention of the teacher and ends up in the office for disrupting class. After a visit with his guidance counselor, he joins 4th period already in progress. By the end of this class, Jeremy has begun to feel tired and irritable. He notices that he is starving. He can’t wait to grab some chips and a coke at lunch…. When will this stupid class be over?
Our planet is in the midst of an energy crisis. Having ignored and misused our environmental resources, as well as neglected our physical and energetic selves, we are headed for disaster. Human beings are energetic organisms. Much as a car takes in fuel and burns that fuel in order to operate, our physical bodies take in food, water and oxygen. I can pour various liquids into the tank of my car, but it will only operate properly when fueled by gasoline. I can ingest foods that are nutritionally inadequate, take in oxygen and water that is tainted by pollution, and my body won’t shut down immediately, but the engine will take a beating, the physical structure will break down and energetically it won’t operate properly. Our children are literally bundles of energy. However, unlike the many machines that surround us, our children do not come with “on” or “off” buttons. They innocently look to us, their parents and teachers, to help teach them. In order to teach them, however, we must be tuned into our own energetic rhythms and needs. Are we modeling healthy behaviors? If we, the adults, neglect our physical and energetic selves, ignoring the signals our bodies keep sending us, we will not be very good teachers.