The seriousness of emotional deprivation: It is not difficult to understand how children who have suffered from malnutrition or starvation need food and plenty of care in their bodies are to recover so they can go on to lead normal lives. If, however, the starvation is severe enough, the damage will be permanent and they will suffer physical impairments for the rest of their lives. Likewise, children who are deprived of emotional nurturing require care and love if their sense of security and self-confidence is to be restored. However, if love is minimal and abuse high, the damage will be permanent and the children will suffer emotional impairments for the rest of their lives.
There are many differing viewpoints on nature versus nurture, and there are those who believe that bad behavior can be excused and understood if a person doesn't know better. The theory that someone who has been abused as a child will go on to abuse their own children, and so on, because they don't know differently is widely held. But children know. We all know. Learned behavior. When a child is abused, he or she knows, even as it is happening, that it is wrong. I knew. I was abused. When a child is treated unfairly in any way, he or she knows that it is wrong. I knew. I was treated unfairly. And when a child is treated with love and affection, he or she knows that it is right. I knew. I saw how other kids were treated with love and affection by their parents. I knew. My soul cried out to me and told me so. We all know. We all know right from wrong. Our souls cry out to us and tell us so. And we decide, we make our choices, and we are responsible for those choices. We, no one else but we, decide. Anger, hurt, pain, humiliation, fear, dread, confusion-all these emotions we choose. De we hold on to our anger, our pain and humiliation, and hit back, or do we strive to understand that we can do better?
Anthropocentric as [the gardener] may be, he recognizes that he is dependent for his health and survival on many other forms of life, so he is careful to take their interests into account in whatever he does. He is in fact a wilderness advocate of a certain kind. It is when he respects and nurtures the wilderness of his soil and his plants that his garden seems to flourish most. Wildness, he has found, resides not only out there, but right here: in his soil, in his plants, even in himself.. But wildness is more a quality than a place, and though humans can't manufacture it, they can nourish and husband it.. The gardener cultivates wildness, but he does so carefully and respectfully, in full recognition of its mystery.