Time to choose the real world


To the Editor:

We live in very important times. Have you ever stopped to think how awkward the future conversation would be between, let’s say, your great-granddaughter and your great-great-grandson?

“Mom, why does the world in old pictures look so beautiful, spacious, and clean?”

“Well, that’s because your great-grandparents and the ones before them thought that convenience was more important than our well-being.”

Really? Think about it, and you may find some truth.

In our world, where connection mostly refers to an electronic signal, having plastic turf makes total sense. For convenience’s sake, we keep our children indoors, transport them in cars, playing on and with artificial surfaces, maxing out all we can manage.

That’s not how we came to be the amazing, flexible, problem-solving, creative beings we are today. It’s because we lived out there; dirt, weather, seasons, challenges, victories, and all that made us who we are today. Maybe we can think about that for a moment, and come to realize that we are not here just for ourselves, either. Like our grandparents, sooner than later, we will leave a legacy behind. What would you like yours to be? Convenience?

Why do humans play sports in the first place? OK, we all know it’s the challenge that gets us going, plus we all crave belonging like water, so we take one for the team. But below that, there is healing in play, getting grounded, down and dirty, a primal warrior-ess energy that is being met. It’s about getting real with yourself, meeting your essence; a grounded, natural, and wild human being.

Why not stick with what worked for probably a million years or so? Come home after a game with dirt on your knees, and give mom and dad something to talk about. Do we really want to continue on the path of disconnecting with what’s real, till we totally max out all our resources? Or would you prefer seeing your grandkids come home with dirt on their knees?

Saskia Vanderhoop, founding director
Sassafras Earth Education