Fear of the earth- or more commonly fear of dirt.
It shocks me how many people have this fear, thinking that a child with dirty hands or clothes (and I'm talking sandbox or backyard dirt) is unsuitable company. Apparently they weren't clean enough to be acceptable at Tae kwon Do because they have spend every possible second in the sand box since the weather broke. And this means every second up to leaving home too.
I understand in a way because I bathe my kids before church every week, and if you conciser it a respectful religious thing then dirty hands doesn't show respect as well as clean ones do, however I have a hard time raising an after school activity to a religious worship.
I feel it is also a symptom of modern city life. Where you never have time to touch dirt or commune with the earth, and where dirty work equates (in people's minds) to low paid and otherwise undesirable work. I know it is also an oriental cultural thing that dirt is bad.
However, being of a different mind and culture I view dirt as a symbol of having done your duty for the day, communing with nature, growing your own foods and all the other things us hippies hold in high esteem.
I find that I almost always respect the person who only brushes her hair once a day more then those with a perfect cofiture. I respect those who don't wear any noticeable make up more then those who look like fashion models. And when I buy at a farmers market i always choose those that have dirt under their fingernails because I know that their veggies were picked just this morning.
You can fear Gaia, or you can work with her, but to cover her up with AstroTurf and concrete jungles is asking for trouble.
I guess this is what happens when hippies at heart try to blend with yuppies. And one more reason to relish in my permicaulture classes.