Some of the most amazing and vivid memories I have as a child involve playing outdoors. We would wake up during summer vacations and not know what exciting adventure lay ahead. During the school year we waited for that bell to ring with aniticipation that only a child can understand. We would debate endlessly on what we should do right after school. It didn’t matter if it was -25 or +25 celsius, nothing would stop us.
Those days will forever be imbedded in my mind. It’s where I learned to be a true friend, a trustworthy team mate, and it’s where I matured. Those days laid the foundation of the man that I’ve become. Most of my dearest friends today were right there beside me. They were the ones battling with me while playing against a rival neighbourhood street hockey team. They were there beside me when a bigger kid wanted to steal my brand new bike. They were there for me when I had to deal with the sad reality of losing my mom at a tender age of 22.
These are life long bonds that can’t be broken or duplicated. So I ask the question, where are all the kids ? Why are all ice hockey rinks empty ? Why are all the empty school yards not filled with kids playing ball hockey ?
We all know the answers but we don’t want to deal with the consequences. We are in the process of raising an entire generation of kids that don’t know how to properly interact (not text) , how to respect others (easy to hide behind a computer) or how to play hockey (not hockey on Playstation). The saddest part is that these kids will never get to truly appreciate what it means to be a kid.
You’re probably saying to yourself Luigi must be drinking and he’s feeling nostalgic. I am nostalgic and we owe it to our kids to create the circumstances where then can flourish. Let’s give them things to talk about other than Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and God knows what else. Let’s be more involved in their lives and give them the experiences and freedom to explore. Let them make mistakes for all that can do is just make them stronger in the end. They will thank you one day when you least expect it.
“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members” – Ghandi