Go Play in the Street

I read a recent article about these guys who strap on armor and beat each other up with swords and spears. They defend plywood castles and basically live out their old Dungeons and Dragons fantasies from youth. Sounds cool, huh? The writer of the article did make an interesting point however:

 “In his apocalyptic nonfiction book Bowling Alone, Harvard-based political scientist Robert Putnam lays out in detail how, since the 1970s, American civic life has died like a sackful of puppies thrown onto a rush-hour freeway. He amassed a mountain of hard data showing that we’re going on fewer church picnics, joining fewer bowling leagues, and taking fewer pies to our neighbors every year, and, as a result, community bonds are crumbling. We’re not voting, we’re not volunteering, we’re not taking care of our kids; America has become a nation of demented shut-ins, dying all alone in houses full of moldering TV Guides and stray cats. One solution is to do what our parents nagged us to do on gorgeous summer days when we just wanted to sit around watching Family Feud: Turn off the TV, get out of the house, and go play with our friends.”

Not to suggest that we buy some chainmail and crusade about the neighborhood, but building community is so very important. I like the way that relationships and community-building has been so stressed in our church. It stretches me out of my comfort zone (Family Feud rocks!)

In a somewhat-related way, this reminds me to get outside myself and to get my son outside. Alice O’Ferrall introduced me to a book by Rachel Carson “The Sense of Wonder.” It’s a beautiful reminder for us to toss the Game Boy and take a walk through the woods. I wish the geniuses who developed and planned urban housing in Florida would have realized the importance of green spaces, namely yards. An Update to my environmentalism rant from yesterday: I plan on contacting the homeowner’s association president to see if a recycling area can be set up for us. please hold me to this.


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