I referred briefly to the essay titled The Politics of Play: Seeking adventure in a risk-averse society in last week’s exploration of The Curious Garden, but I think it merits some attention of its own. In the piece, Jay Griffith argues that unstructured and free play (something that is increasing rare nowadays) is vital for helping children grow up into mature, sustainable, and resilient individuals capable of exercising sound judgement. I would like to share a couple of choice quotes:
Physical freedom, however, models all kinds of freedom, for children learn with both body and mind. When they see themselves demonstrate physical courage, they also learn moral or political courage – and independent thought, which has profound implications.
While children must learn to control themselves, what they can never control is luck. They must learn how to live with it, how to dance with chance and mischance. Children recognize life is a huge adventure, and they must accept the dare.
…if children are allowed the price of freedom, they may act in their own wisdom, captains of their own souls, shipwrecked perhaps, but not spirit-wrecked.
My favourite passage:
The true opposite of obedience is not disobedience but independence. The true opposite of order is not disorder but freedom. Most profoundly, the true opposite of control is not chaos but self-control.
You can read the full article online at Orion Magazine, a fantastic publication that explores nature, culture, and place. Have a good Friday.