The Healing Power of Wilderness

WILD’s work to protect wilderness is routed in the belief that such areas provide essential social, spiritual, biological and economic benefits.  There are countless studies, papers, even books on the economic and biological benefits of wilderness areas, but what is often overlooked are the social and spiritual values.  These values are harder to define by numbers or empirical data, but are likely more easy for us to relate to.  The Wilderness Leadership School (WLS) a member of The Wilderness Network, celebrates our connection to nature by leading wilderness trails in the pristine wilderness areas of Southern Africa. 

{photo: WLS trailists enjoy a swim}

A recent experience on a WLS trail exemplifies the healing power of nature – re-affirming our vision of wilderness areas as a key component to a healthy modern society.  The first sentence of an account of the trail tells the story: “Vusi Jali still has bullets in his body, a relic of his life of violence, but a recent wilderness encounter has seen him turning his back on crime.”  The inspiring story of Vusi, the friends he made in the wilderness and the calm he found within himself, is one of many.  It clearly illustrates the healing potential of wilderness, and reminds us all to take a step outside, out of our busy lives, and into the wilderness.  Who knows what we may find there?

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