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Friday, June 11, 2010

Race to nowhere


I have just come across this documentary.

Unfortunately it is not showing in Australia, but if you are in the States, it looks like it will be well worth your while to watch it.

Our young people have been put on a treadmill.

To get the best results.
To get into the best schools.
To get into the best universities.
And get the best qualifications.
To get the best job.
And make the most money.

To buy the most stuff.

Where is the call to self actualisation?

Happiness?

Love for thy neighbour?

Our society has an illness.

We are destroying the planet and ourselves just so that we can accumulate more stuff.
And because the media keeps telling us that we are not acceptable as human beings because we don't have more stuff, we just stay on the treadmill so that we can keep working to buy more stuff.

I have been there.

I was pushed academically at school.
I got into a really good course.
I got a really good qualification.
And I got a really good job.

Which I hated.

I was off sick a lot.
With migraines and sinus headaches.
Classic illnesses associated with stress.

As soon as I passed my last board exam, I got pregnant.

Because all I ever wanted was to be a mother.

It was such a frivolous goal when I should have been hoping to achieve fame and fortune.
I wouldn't have dared to say it out loud. 

I had to go back to work when Annie was only four months old.
We lived in a society where parenthood is not considered a profession.
Raising our future citizens to be the best contributors to our society is not really important.

Much more important is to get back on the treadmill.

So that we can get more stuff and send our children to the best schools so that they can work to buy their own stuff one day.

So I ended up with post natal depression.
Once I got back to work.

It was all too much for my sensitive soul.

I stayed in paid employment for another two years until we moved to Australia.

Where we decided that we don't care about the stuff.
And I have the most important profession in the world.

And I get to learn so much from my little two.
Who live in the moment.
And don't care about the stuff.

They care about being with me.
And the birds in the sky.
And the mud in their toes.

It makes me so sad that we as a society kill that in our children.
By getting them Nintendos and dressing them like little adults.

We are taking away their childhood.

Swimming lessons, dancing lessons, horse riding, baby gym, toddler activities, French for toddlers, teaching babies to read, extravagant birthday parties, does it ever end?

Whatever happened to playing in the mud?

I am glad that I send Annie to a place where she is not confined to a desk.
She can move freely, as this is what her body needs.
She doesn't need to ask to go to the bathroom.
She gets as much outside time as she wants.

And in this mad world, I can give her a bit of her childhood.

I am also glad to see that there is a movement.
A movement that is recognising the madness.
I hope that it will get more parents to slow down.
Look at their child.
And just give them a childhood.

To watch the trailer and learn more about the movie, click here.

4 comments:

  1. i feel so lucky to have realized this before having my children. while relatives and dear friends fill their child's playroom with stuff and drive them to way to many classes. i stand back and feel proud that my children attend montessori and the only extra thing we add to their schedule is swim lessons. watching the trailer reminded me of why we lived in hawaii for so long, and why we explored this move to australia. smart post.

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  2. So touching Ola. What a blessed family you are. xx

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  3. Wow, what a wonderfully passionate post! I agree with you ... I have learned so much since becoming a mother, mostly how to listen to my intuition and avoid listening to what the media and society tells me I *should* want. I don't want anything that doesn't feed me spiritually and creatively. I don't want anything that I will tire of in several or more years. I've learned this the hard way.

    Yes, we need to remind our children, show our children the sweet path of life, otherwise they will be thrown off early on and come to believe that life is superficial when life is really so much more than that.

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  4. This really encapsulates our journey over the past couple of years doesn't it?

    The difference in our children, our selves, and our lives has been pretty drastic since we started looking at the world in a different way.

    I still remember the conversation we had before we came to Australia when we decided that you shouldn't have to work and i'll go out into the ugly corporate world, whilst you take on the more ominous (and more fun) responsibility of raising our little prince and princess. Even then, it just felt so right...

    Problem is that it's so hard to get off the treadmill unless you're faced with making a drastic change in your life - like when we had to consider whether we should go onto an Australian treadmill - and then decided treadmills weren't that cool altogether. To a large extent, the move to Australia helped with this decision so much - nothing like starting afresh!

    I'm so grateful that you've helped our family move into this space and continue to be thankful that you support me and our mini-me's-and-mini-you's to have an organic, healthy, balanced, spiritually centered life.

    Thank you.

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