When I was younger, I remember being very eager to get out into the world and make my way. I couldn’t wait to grow up and experience all the adventures that life had to offer. Also, I seem to remember many of my peers felt the same way. At least, I didn’t personally know any who were looking forward to staying home the rest of their lives.
Is it me, or did something happen to the sense of adventure among our young people?
I mean, I guess it’s possible that things like “depression and anxiety” existed 20+ years ago, but I sure don’t remember hearing anything about it. At least, not to the magnitude that we hear it today. For the most part, however, everyone I knew was ready to get out of the house and “take on the world,” if you will. So what happened?
I have a few theories, but none, I believe, hold any real water. Their definitely not based on any legitimate science...that I know of.
***It was at this point when I started to provide those theories, but then I realized that the tone of the article took a turn for the overly cynical, so I deleted everything I had written. Because this project and the articles posted therein are not for the cynic, but for the optimist. So I shall start over.***
Take the time to flex your “imagination muscles.” In today’s world of modern technology, it can be difficult, and probably even boring, to explore creative ventures where imagination is concerned. But I encourage everyone to try.
Our kids no longer have to fill the gaps during playtime by using their imaginations and playing “pretend.” Those gaps have been filled with video games and devices which do all the pretending for them.
Older generation kids, get your younger generation kids outside and show them how it’s done. Play tag, hide and seek, cops and robbers, etc. Don’t forget to collect some sticks because you’re going to need swords, or dig holes, or you might need to build a fort.
This is a big one. Especially for our parents. The world seems to be getting more and more dangerous, and it also appears those dangers are showing up in our neighborhoods. But is that true? Honestly, I could not answer that for you, but what I can tell you is that there are fewer and fewer kids out in the open and socializing with each other.
Not too long ago it was not uncommon to see loads of kids playing outside, walking through the neighborhood, or to the local convenience store. To me this a little upsetting because some of my best memories as a kid come from the times I was able to hang out with my friends in the neighborhood and “practice” our independence.
Now by no means am I trying to influence anyone to kick their kids out onto the street and fend for themselves despite the dangers. No Way! But I do believe that there is something to be said that young kids are no longer socializing out in the open, in their own neighborhoods, either because it’s dangerous, or because their just not allowed. If this is true, then in my opinion, it is another reason the adventurism is dwindling among our youth.
For me, parents play the biggest role in instilling the spirit of adventure in their kids. Sure, some children might be naturally outgoing and look forward to conquering the world, and others might need some coaxing, but regardless, a parent’s attitude makes all the difference.
To me, it’s easy. Talk to your kids, as much as possible, about all the great things that exist in the world that someone should see first-hand. Or talk to them about how great it is to own their own car! Or go to college! Attitude is everything.
If there is another thing, it would be to be supportive and listen to your kids. Push them to succeed, and be their biggest fan! Hold them to a standard, and have high expectations. Effort counts for a lot, but not everyone’s a winner. And honesty is always the best policy.
Hopefully, when the time comes for your child to take their own steps into the world, they’ll be doing it with confidence, and angst. And they’ll be doing it because you instilled that in them throughout their youth.
I realize I might see the world through a small lens, and that my perception of the lack of adventurous spirit in today’s youth could be false. Regardless, I think having a sense of adventure is a good thing, and it leads to people becoming high achievers and world changers, which, I believe is what we need more of.
People who want better for themselves and others, and believe they have the means and the ability to do so. In order to accomplish that, we need people who have big dreams, believe in themselves to achieve those dreams, and thereby change their communities and the world for the better.