Below is an excerpt from an email I received this morning. What timing! In his books, Dr George Sheehan always expounded the need to get in touch with our childhood through play. Play is simple. Play injects fun into a seemingly trivial undertaking. Play balances the soul and smoothes the edges of Life. Which is why I'm such a difficult person to live with if I don't get my playtime. You wouldn't want to get near me. I'd understand if I'm out there for hours but are 30 minutes too much to ask? It's not that I sneaked off to the pub or something. I need my playtime and I will claim my playtime. If you want to understand me better, go out and play!
First, we survived with mothers who had no maids. They cooked /cleaned while taking care of us at the same time. They took aspirin, candy floss, fizzy drinks, shaved ice with syrup and diabetes was rare. Salt added to Pepsi or Coke was remedy for fever. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. As children, we would ride with our parents on bicycles/ motorcycles for 2 or 3. Richer ones in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a private taxi was a special treat. We drank water from the tap and NOT from a bottle. We would spend hours on the fields under bright sunlight flying our kites, without worrying about UV rays which never seem to affect us. We go into the jungle to catch spiders without worries of Aedes mosquitoes.
With mere 5 pebbles (stones) would be a endless game. With a ball (tennis ball best) we boys would ran like crazy for hours. We caught guppy in drains / canals and when it rained we swam there. We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually worry about being unhygenic. We ate salty, very sweet & oily food, candies,bread and real butter and drank very sweet soft drinks, sweet coffee/ tea, ice kachang, but we weren't overweight because......
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, till streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K. We would spend hours repairing our old bicycles and wooden scooters out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem. We did not have Playstations, Nintendo's, X-boxes, multiple channels on cable TV, DVD movies, no surround sound, no phones, no personal computers, no Internet.WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them! We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and we still continued the stunts. We never had birthday parties till we were 21. We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and just yelled for them! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law! Yet this generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever! The past 40 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
Labels: Dr George Sheehan, Play