The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Then Stop
I had the luck of ending up behind a school bus this morning that was picking up neighborhood children and whisking them off to school. Well, whisking is probably an optimistic assessment of what was happening. Actually the bus was stopping at every child's house to pick them up. Now I know that I have always cringed when my mother or grandfather would start with "Well when I was a child we trudged 50 miles to school in the snow with sandals on..." or a similar account. But truthfully, we all walked to school or may have ridden the bus to school, but we still walked to a pick-up point some distance from our house. We never would have expected the bus to come to our door, and then the door of the next-door neighbor's, then the door of the kid three houses down. After no less than 20 stops within a 1/2 mile length of road, the bus mercifully turned off and I could then flatten the gas pedal to the floor to get me speedily to my destination. Until another bus turned in a ways up the road ahead of me. But this time what I noticed most was that parents had driven their child to where the bus would pick them up ... which was the end of the driveway. There were parents that had actually provided the heated car for their teenager's wait only 50 yards from the garage.
What is happening to our species? Why are we so loathe to walk anywhere, expose ourselves to weather, have to stand in a spot that is not our own front yard? We have become so safety conscious and comfort-driven that we do not even want our child to have a healthy walk to the bus stop or the school. Worse, we don't even want to have to walk it ourselves!
Without regular exercise, and I DON'T mean the gym, our bodies become less resistant to illness, more prone to fatigue, allergies and injury and round enough to require a minimum of two airplane seats. Normal daily routines have to include walking, lifting, pushing, pulling, carrying, dragging (unless it's a dead body), jumping, running and facing the onslaught of weather with proper boots, sufficient layers to remain warm and no need for a heated cocoon.
We are teaching our children that walking is unnecessary because we can drive, weather is meant to be avoided, minimize your time outside and IPads accompany everything from breakfast to the bathroom. What will this mean for their health as adults? What new diseases will emerge in 30 years time because of what we are not exposing our children to now? Remember dirt? Remember soap that wasn't antibacterial? Remember the freedom of running around outside until dark or dinner whichever came first?
Ah, those were the good old days!