We exist in a world where children swipe to turn a page. They live and breathe for their online presence, and are addicted to social media. Suggestions like “Play outside for a while,” aren’t received with enthusiasm. Trees go unclimbed. Rivers run empty. Nature holds her breath. Virtual reality has conquered the homes of unsuspecting victims, creeping inside with the first computer game. Climbing a tree is difficult. It requires rising from a chair and expending effort for what might be considered a waste of time. I remember the wind in my hair, a feeling of accomplishment, a bird’s-eye view. In my childhood, climbing a tree was one of the most rewarding activities, and emerging from a plunge into cold, white water is so refreshing it feels like a baptism. I feel so fortunate to have grown up in this generation, running through the woods like Pocahontas.
Today, there are commercials on television about aiding the imaginations of children. Our future is in their hands, and some cannot grasp a life full of difficult decisions without help. Imagination creates inventors, scientists, doctors, teachers, and all other useful careers. It is devastating to watch young minds melt behind their screens. Imagination used to come as easily as common sense. Now, it is learned.
Imagination and reality are equally important. I hope that one day, Pocahontas will run through the open minds of children as freely as she does in mine.