I have been in a swelteringly hot Britain this week, packing up all our worldly goods ready for shipping to our new house in Asker, Norway. Of course being in the UK means catching up with ‘real’ newspapers instead of just looking at them on a laptop screen.
I tell you this because I read a short article by Alice Thompson about violent people being released from prison whilst the wrong people stay in jail, and her insight really impressed me.
Alice comments that troubled people shouldn’t be kept away from society, but that actually, they might need introducing to it.
That certainly reflects an experience that I had in Uganda a few years ago working with a group of teenagers from mixed backgrounds. I learned that children from chaotic, often violent and extremely unstable homes are often isolated from art, travel, culture, different and interesting people and personal creativity. All denied to them because of the lottery of birth and circumstances.
But how do we ‘introduce’ deprived children and young adults to a wider world without alienating them and highlighting their lack of social experience? I do worry that their short lifetime of living in a creative vacuum, fueled by peer pressure and aggression; means that learning to appreciate what we consider the finer things in life is already lost to them.
I certainly hope not, because I too, was a slow learner about the wonders of the world and its amazing story. I wonder if it’s time to abandon the ‘virtual’ and supposedly ‘super connected’ world of today and bring back the old fashioned grand tour. I suppose that you would call it backpacking these days!
Anyone at any age could take the plunge, travel somewhere or do something that will push you physically, mentally and socially.
It reminds me of my favorite quote that “to meet interesting people, you have to do interesting things”!