i heard this on the radio yesterday. it really spoke to me and i was thinking about it all day - i had to share!
"It's Sunday morning, I turned on the TV & found it tuned to the Sci-Fi Channel I was watching last night. It was a show in which a young girl, with Halloween coming up, had created a "haunted house" for her friends. Showing it off to a boy who hadn't seen it before, she explained that her friends WANTED to feel a little afraid there. "Why?" he asked.
"Well," she said, "if you can't survive feeling scared as a kid, how can you EVER survive feeling scared as an adult?"
This was so profound that it stunned me. I've watched our society change to one in which everyone must "FEEL safe" one in which kids can't be allowed to play dodgeball, kickball, or even to ride a bike without a helmet.
I grew up in a world where no kid wore a bike helmet (and we all lived through it) where many kids had a little scar where the swing had caught them on the chin (and everyone thought "So what?" We learned to stand BACK)... and where it WAS safe to wander in the woods all day without your folks worrying about where you were.
It was a world full of little risks, and we learned how to take them. I worry about the weakening of our culture the effeminization of American ideals, and boys and the triumph of the superficial ("FEELING" safe), over what is REAL providing a world in which it IS safe for our children to take risks, and survive them, and be applauded for it.
We are the descendants of brave adventurers, rebels, and survivors. We are not MEANT to be "victims" in a society which guarantees us that everything will be "SAFE." "
i really loved this letter. i grew up in such a safe explorable environment - although with all the black widows and rusty nails people might argue nowadays that it wasnt a safe environment for a child (with all our over-childproofing) - we were super fortunate to have a nice big backyard with all sorts of animals and our imaginations could run a little free. sure we got broken bones, rusty nails in the feet, scratches everywhere from racing bikes down our BIG hills, but its a part of childhood i feel. knowing and exploring your limits. i think EVERY generation feels their generation was safer than the current one, but I dont believe its all that different. we have just become a little too litigious a little too scared a little too....too much.
i think it is so vital to a child's well-being- to be given the freedom to explore. our Creator gave us that gift...doesn't it make sense as parents to model that as well? please dont misunderstand - a parent's role is to protect...of course...but to what extent?
i sometimes get that "One Step Ahead" catalog for kids...they have the most ridiculous stuff in there. Kneepads for a crawling baby? kneepads? come on people...really? kneepads?
anyway...i am stepping down from the soapbox...i hope that the letter i mentioned spoke to someone else, or at least gave pause.