Apoorva Joshi

PhD student - Michigan State University; Independent journalist - environment, science and international news.

Fellow - International League of Conservation Writers.

Member - Society of Environmental Journalists, International Communication Association.

A Student's Mind-A Naturalist's Heart

People come and ask you- so what are you going to do now?? It's like the 2nd most common question in the world after "how are you?" . Your answer is- "im going to take up Environmental Science." The reactions differ according to the person that gives it. The people who give it differ according to their own career backgrounds, which, again, differ according to how they were brought up.Conclusion- the reactions differ according to the way their minds were trained to think. Of course im not saying that the way they think is wrong! :) Of course they're right when they want every kid to be a doctor or an engineer. Of course they're right when they prevent their kids from taking up unconventional fields, neglecting passion and even talent. Of course they're right! Or are they?
Reality check. If no one who had a passion for Nature, or Environmental Science, or Wildlife, who would make discoveries and reveal that the Earth's facing its worst ever situation regarding climate change, that Sariska is totally drained of its Tiger population, that the Arctic ice is melting at an alarming rate, that Mexico is experiencing floods and tsunamis are happening because the Earth's climate has gone bananas!!
I salute those parents who encourage their kids to go on and choose their passion as their career. To unite their vocation and their avocation. To chase those dreams that have formed within an individual mind, even if it means not having money enough to roll in it.To all those parents who encourage, it goes a long long way for your child’s dream and her/his confidence levels.
Everyone who has heard me tell them that im into Wildlife Conservation and not the usual medicine or MBA or whatever those weirdo short forms are, think that either I didn’t have the marks, or that I’ve a brain malfunction. But to those few of have stood by me and said- we’re proud of you! Go girl! – to them- I don’t know how to make ‘thank you’ more profound and more meaningful. Your words seem like this pushing force that makes me want to work harder and harder every second.Thank you so much.For the constant support, and for accepting me for who I really am.
Im a student of Environmental Sciences. Yes,by choice! Not because I didn’t have the marks, not because im dumb, not because my brain is out of its ‘mind’.
A student’s heart and a Naturalist’s mind. A combination which is dreaded by many.Appreciated by few.And understood by fewer than fewest!
If you were to bring up your kids teaching them that a puppy is as welcome in the house as is the kid itself, you would be helping shape a mindset. If you say things like- animals are as important as all other life on earth to your 4th std daughter who has homework on Nature, it would develop a respect in her heart for those animals, that she might one day stand up for.If you involve your children in discussions regarding current affairs, they would be masters at their brain work. If you were to ask your child her/his views on topics often, they would be independent in a much better way. Clearly- you instill the right values, you get gems. No, my parents didn’t tell me to go campaign for wildlife conservation.That I told myself. But what they did do-is told me to stand up for what’s right. To be downright honest with yourself. And to be humble among other things.
I didn’t need to be told- that poaching is wrong.I knew. By and large because of what I grew up to be. As a person. Adevertisements that show a bunch of girls shampooing their hair under a waterfall, I didn’t need to be told that that’s against Environmental values. It’s a simple matter of common sense. So simple that it doesn’t strike 90% of people who tend to overlook it.
The evening breeze that brings with it, the scent of roses somewhere nearby, or the clean air atop a hill on an early morning that refreshes ur blood, or the sunsets on beaches that show silhouettes of ships sailing at the horizon, appreciating these senses cant be taught! It comes. The skip of a heart-beat when u spot a Tiger cub playing with its mother completely aloof to human presence, the feeling of reassurance when you see a Dolphin jump up from the sea and dive back in gracefully, these sensational feelings find themselves only in those genuine Naturalist hearts that never want to lose the delight of experiencing the wilderness as it comes..WILD!
So take a step forward. Come out of your cuccoon and let your folks jump into passion if they want to. If their heart’s in it, they’re already halfway there! Help them along the other half and get yourself that place in Heaven you’ve been trying to book all this while! ;) C’mon people! It’s time we learn to let our hearts take the action! Live it up the way you dreamt you would!

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