Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Where are we going?

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” –Confucius

I only wonder if Confucius knew where we were going. I've been thinking a lot about distance. Not necessarily a distance measured in kilometers (or miles for the less smug among us), but rather distance in a generic form. While I have dozens of examples of this and really wish I could start writing more about them, I am going to talk about trees.

I think that electronics, especially video games, have distanced us from reality. Children don't understand what death is. Granted, it's a complex thought that takes time to really understand, but I don't think that our media intake is helping anything. The last time I played video games I was playing Super Mario Brothers. While I was never good at the game and I knew very little about it. This much I did know, I had three chances to get past world 1-1 or my game would be over. So I had the opportunity to die three times before my humiliating destruction was complete. While I assume that video games have changed since I played, I still think that you get more than one life.

If you watch the news in the evenings there is a lot of information on violence and war. While we hear the term 'death' frequently in the news, we never really see the consequences of it. The general public doesn't get that pain associated with losing a loved one or the pain associated with death. We only get statistics and if we watch again tomorrow we'll get more statistics.

The media we expose our children to is distancing them from reality. They are consuming more and more of non-reality and it is replacing reality in their lives. They are becoming distanced from consequences.

Don't worry, I have the solution. I think that kids should be allowed to play in trees. Kids need to fall out of trees to know about real consequences. Can kids get hurt, yes. Could it even kill them, yes. I don't take that lightly, but is a life without climbing trees a life worth living? We want to protect our children, but our we protecting them to the point where they don't really get to experience childhood or life?

Real life experiences and experiencing real pain is going to lessen our distance from reality. Each step that we take in life is leading us toward a destination. Do we want that destination to be reality or a place that media wants us to think of as reality? Not only do you need to take steps in life, but they have to lead where you want to go.


Deb said...

I recently read a wonderful book about children's need to be outside in nature in order to develop properly. It's called "The Last Child In The Woods."

Gail said...

Ditto on Deb's comment on The Last Child in the Woods. Excellent perspective on this topic.

Finding it critical with Rachel and Nathan to scoot them out the door to play outside. One to help them entertain themselves. Two to keep them active. Three to enjoy God's great big playground.

The trees in our backyard are big and climb friendly (with effort). It was one of the biggest selling points of the house.