Let Children Play Outside

Please indulge me once more as I meander down the memory lane. After all, The business of life is the acquisition of memories.

The business of life is the acquisition of memories
The business of life is the acquisition of memories

Regular readers of my blog know that I grew up in a beautiful hill station surrounded by hills, forests, springs and tea estates. Obviously, I spent a good part of this time enjoying my life. I’ve tasted berries whose name I know not, played in the rain, walked through the fog not knowing whether I am heading for a cliff, I have walked and run so far away from home, but nature always guided me back to my home (well, mostly, folks who worked in my parents’ school and realized I was lost), drank water from fresh water springs, cycled on ‘bridges’ made of slender logs,  ran helter-skelter after spotting wild boars hiding in bushes.

Lovely Nature
Lovely Nature, Sweet Nature

Maybe, I could have died in a hundred different ways, but I also lived in a thousand beautifully different ways.

Which is why modern parenting makes me stop and think.  Do we structure our childrens’ time too much too soon to remove the true benefits of unstructured time? Are we over-protective? So many of the things this article spoke about resonated with me.

http://time.com/3005611/helicopter-parenting-chilhood-obesity/

I quote from the article:

But today, to keep our kids “safe,” we drive them back and forth to school. “Arrival” and “dismissal” have morphed into “drop-off” and “pick-up.” Kids are delivered like FedEx packages. About 1 in 10 use their legs to get to school.

Do we really need 599 cars dropping off 599 children in a school less than 5 miles from home every morning? What happened to biking, walking or taking a school bus to school? It is no wonder that obesity rates are spiking.

The fact that I don’t see residential neighborhoods filled with children playing on the street saddens me. The only way to change that is to open those doors and step outside. Let children play.

Future of Mankind: Sifrhippus or Wall-E routes?

The hedgehogs in the area are confused. They came out thinking it is Spring (apparently, hedgehogs peep out of their hibernating homes and if they see their shadow, they think it is time to get up and get busy for the Spring),and then a few days later, the skies clouded over again looking very much like Winter, and hiding the hedgehogs shadow. Just when they found their blankets and decided to snuggle up again, they found their shadows again. Quite trying for hedgehogs frankly. I don’t know what I would have done if I were one. Point is, no matter what the climate is like, one can always push out a study on Global warming to an audience waiting to lap it up. If it is cold, you say,’See this is a result of global warming. The extremities in temperature.’ Then dramatically shake your head.

Another sure shot research topic is Obesity. Watching Wall-E always fills me with an unnamed fear. What with obesity rising and our inherent entertainment choices becoming sedentary, there seems little we can do to avoid the inevitable. But there is this news item that had me soothe my frayed nerves somewhat.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/24/science/sifrhippus-the-first-horse-got-even-tinier-as-the-planet-heated-up.html

Apparently, the Sifrhippus horse was a hulk (compared to what it is now I mean). But as a result of Global Warming, the horse has grown tinier over centuries. On the other hand, horses ran around then and horses run around now. I mean rarely does one find a Sifrhippus strapped up to his X-box and throwing his mane about involved in the game.

If a sifr had to run a mile for fodder then, he runs a mile for fodder now. So, his reduced bulk could be related to Global Warming.

Man, on the other hand, if he had to hunt a day for filling half his stomach then, he has to click a button for half a second now before it is delivered at his doorstep. For further explanation, I see a half-witted diagram is in order.

Do you think these two effects would balance each other out for a while.