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Children, who have forgotten to play

Kawaraban No. 22


by Kenji Shimizu

Once a German asked me why Japanese children are not playing outside on esplanades. I also had this thought myself before, because it is a fact that Japanese children do not play outside in parks or on free areas.

Every human being carries his memories in his chest – the good ones and the bad ones -, and his life is filled with wishes, that are targeted at the future. But the children today are unhappy, because education is cramming them with knowledge, making them the victims of their parents – oh no, it is more correct to say, of the society. The children concerned might be greatly gifted by birth, but...

It is necessary to have children roaming freely and let them have various experiences by playing a lot. Awareness will follow depending on the gained experiences, neural reactions will improve, and inherent abilities will be fostered.

I am sure, that present day education, that crams children with knowledge, is making them insensible. Education nowadays is not providing any chance for children, who play a lot.

Each time when I visit Germany/Europe, I often see children playing in parks. Additionally, on holidays you will meet little boys and girls accompanied by their parents or in groups outside the cities playing. Everywhere in Europe you will find fields and forests in natural condition close to the cities. The people over there are keen to preserve nature with all their might. Probably they have sensed the disaster before urbanization reached them and recognized how terrible it would be loosing the nature:

I think, they also might have noticed the importance of letting children play unconstrainedly in the great outdoors.

In our country as well we have to take nature more seriously, we have to enrich nature, and we have to adapt education to nature.

I cannot resist the feeling that otherwise children will develop into adults with weaknesses in important areas.

Examples for people lacking such important things are:

◦ people, who don’t care to give other people a lot of trouble

◦ people, who always ask for their rights, but do not fulfill their duties,

◦ people, who do not pipe up by oneself and do not have the heart to do something, will do harm when acting in a group

There are many more other examples, other than the above mentioned.

The reason for the ever-increasing number of such people is probably found in the feeling of uncertainty in our world. Shouldn’t we train our body and mind, so that we will not be abused by religious or other similar groups, which are alarming our world nowadays?

© translated by Birgit Lauenstein and Peter Nawrot 04/2003