So here is the point of my rant from yesterday; read it here.
There’s nothing wrong with Mitch Albom’s basic assertion, in and of itself. Overprogrammed kids? Not enough time for play and creativity? Cultivating the art of boredom? Playing outside and immersing oneself in the physical world? Please. No argument from me… though my friends and family in Texas, which is burning to a crisp right now, might have a quibble with the playing outside part.
No, what offends me is his suggested remedy: just send them outside. Unplug the cell phone. Just let them be kids. Maybe there are people out there for whom all that stands in the way of a 1950s lifestyle for their kids is one simple decision—to de-enroll them, fling wide the front door, turn on the sprinkler. But the reality is, we are all part of a system that makes such changes more complicated than a simple “Whoa, I’ve been looking at this all wrong. Course correction implemented.” That doesn’t let us off the hook from seeking the life we want to live. But it does mean that it’s never, ever as simple as so-called “experts” would like you to think.
And that’s what really bothers me on a deeper level. The world is simply too complex and calamitous for drivel like this article. We don’t have time for it, folks. It’s of a piece with “why don’t the poor just find jobs” and “drill baby drill.” If the solutions were easy enough to fit on a bumper sticker, we would have already implemented them.
This weekend I was at a training in which Einstein was quoted: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Yet we seem unable or unwilling as a society, on the whole, to move into a new level of consciousness. I won’t comment on our political “leaders” in Congress except to say that whenever someone says “They’re acting like children” I think, “That is an insult to children.”
It is pretty discouraging. Einstein also apparently said, “Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the universe.”
However, Luther said when the world is falling apart, plant a tree, and that’s what I intend to do today.