Reflecting on the talent and creativity oneself had during childhood, may cause one to laugh at themselves! I know I remember creating dance routines, when I was much younger, and I was absolutely horrific! Growing up, I also thought it would be a smart idea to make a business out of loom bands, make my own earrings and even set up a you-tube channel (which was absolutely horrific). But all kids were the same! When it comes to playtimes, everybody could easily aamuse themselves, for an hour each lunchtime- playing at pretending, hide and seek or using the skipping rope. And I won’t even mention how much time we would devote to online sub-reality games, like “Moshi monsters”, “Club penguin” and my favourite “Bin Weevles”.
While I cannot speak so much for the young children of the “20s”, as I don’t really know what they do all day. But before this, I’d occasionally come into contact with them, finding unbelievable how intrigued they seemed regarding certain issues, and how many off them seem so enthuastic to listen to and to offer kind of productive solutions to improve the way of our world.
Whilst ironically, some of our generation arguably grew up too fast, as we begun to question the way of the world, at possibly a younger age than our parents and gran parents, we were sometimes given backlash, raising concerns over issues like the climate crisis. While it may be only a minimalised number who actually take the micky, it just shows how some become devoted to the seemingly more “pragmatic and practical” approach. Therefore as we become increasingly anxious about the world we are living, wanting to improve the conditions the resulting hostility we receive can sometimes make us feel rather marginalised. Nonetheless we are now faced with a situation whereby many are left with little choice but to embrace creativity. As many fall short of money, places to go and things to do. While the world is in an even worse dilemma, when many countries are left out in the blue on how to go forward. And furthermore, the question about whether normality was working, has arisen.
So I am going to begin with what is easier, and talk about how young children, who are missing school, missing their friends, and have been deprived of a large amount of their “outdoor play time” as playgrounds are shut, even exercise restrictions are in place- and a tremendous number do not even have access to gardens! Nevertheless just by taking a glimpse down the road, I can see that almost every other home is displaying drawings of rainbows, appreciation notes and even messages to reminding us all to abide with the rules. And it is fair to say, the majority of these pictures have been drawn by, well, by the youngest. Really, the thought that all young children are not only having to follow these strict rules, in which no previous generation has experienced, but are also voluntarily producing beautiful artwork is heart-warming. I think to be fair, part of the reason for this is because of the immense community online, from endless lists on “things to do” with children, free online lessons (Joe Wicks…) and how now pretty much all- even young children’s- lives seem to revolve around social media. Which for once, is a good thing!
So what? You may be thinking. How else are young children meant to react? Building on what I said at the beginning, I am sure all of the previous “children” can justify their legacy, not just my own. So what actually makes these young children so special, when really (unless in very unfortunate circumstances) they are pretty much safe at home…
In contrast to what many children in the war went through. Yeah, it goes without saying that many of them had it much much worse, while many off them were barely affected.
Though again, children have little choice but to behave (at least outdoors), with playgrounds shut, and while being unable to see friends. Though we all know how cheeky children can be, and how they can often at least try to break rules. However I can honestly say that II haven’t seen any of that at all! Not one child running loose in a supermarkets, no huddles of young friendship groups, and not once I have seen any of them trying to run into a playground. Instead being too busy drawing rainbows of hope.
Yet I reckon that part of this, may be down to how with this; everyone is slightly less “alone”. Although each and every household (and child) varies massively, there is a distinct similarity between each and everyone’s situation. It isn’t that one child in London is forced to go on a 100 mile train to forcefully fit in with a family whom they’ve never met before- often unable to keep in touch at all with friends, while some other lucky kid living in Scotland is still out and about, and attending school daily. No, from a child’s point of view, compared to the Evacuee scenario, it is a lot less dramatic. However from the centre of London, to the outer Hebrides- each and every child is having to abide with exactly the same rules, and follow very similar lifestyles….
Whilst although the media enjoys a good boast, I don’t see many teens and young adults hanging out in groups at all. Which perhaps proves that really young people “do care”. And most do, not just the young online advocates we see, promoting sustainability, peace and acceptance.
Maybe I am being overly optermistic. Maybe everyone’s just too afraid, and that is the dominant force behind why we’re all following these rules. Nevertheless I like to believe that there is another reason behind all this. Maybe it’s hope, care and compassion which are forcing us to all work so strongly as a community. Forcing us to be creative, forget about what we “ought” to be doing, and take a moment instead to step back and appreciate all of the strength and beauty within the world, even in during times of crisis. Such as the sheer courage of NHS workers and other front line staff. But strangely we become apart of this too, by sacrificing our usual activity.
So you can hopefully see how so many of us are showing immense gratitude, strength and creativity, in these difficult times. Like young children, we are almost having think about how to go at things, being in some cases what we choose to do all day while at home- or in the longer run of how to survive financially.
However I think there is a deeper message behind all this. Yes, it is most likely next year hopefully festivals, concerts and football matches will return. Planes will be back in action, so people will be able to vacate to their favourite holiday destination, while once again parks will be filled with innocents choosing to sunbathe (or lie down on the ground if in the UK). However also our country, our world is now facing a massive dilemma on how to run post “lockdown”- and how to return back to “normal”. Or if we should return to normal. Youngsters have been strong and creative, and everyone else needs to do the same. Come to terms with the fact that money isn’t everything, and how the real heros are NHS workers- most likely earning little, as well as he likes of old Phil who works behind the shop counter.
And look. We have an economy. And before all of this; it may have been tremendously flawed, but it was working. And no, we cannot dismiss the importance of the “economy” due to it’s severe defects; as really it is more than a “thing” that the tories tend to obsess on. No! Our livlihoods depend on it…
Nonetheless we have seen the chaos that has risen, partly due to an imperfect economy. From the school children going hungry, homeless people filling our streets and now the thousands of deaths resulting partly from an underfunded but brilliant and fundamental public health service. Perhaps all of us need to take a look at how young children are turning to creativity more frequently, rather than giggling as often at their ridiculous solutions on making the world a better place.
We need to remember that there may be more positive solutions, which could save the world, rather than destroy it. Maybe as we age, we need to absorb more of what these little children are having to say. Rather than deciding it is best to stick like glue to the easiest solution, which is really unfair and unsustainable.
And I am sorry- but I refuse to believe that there is no other way. Could we be the future generation to hold more positivity, having a slightly more informed outlook on the world. yeah, research has to be done, and like with anything good- I believe it would take time. Yet normal may not feel the same as before immediately, but at the same time we won’t all of a sudden find ourselves in an enlightened world- even if all countries manage to eradicate the virus. But it would be nice if we remain resilient, and sustain our hopes in ourselves, our communities and the world.