The Extinction of Experience?
Forrest is almost always game for going to the farm for yet another day of fun in the mud. On rare occasions he stubbornly wants to stay clean at home, and we need to convince him that by sitting idle he risks missing an experience. Seize the day, we tell him. Thankfully, an experience awaits him on days like these that reinforce the message. A few days ago during a dramatized lamentation of a need to go home, Forrest stopped in mid-wail to declare the existence of a snake. The chase was on. Triumphantly, he caught the snake before it made its normal elusive escape in the pond and over to the island. He occupied himself with the snake for over an hour finally choosing to let it go near the tomatoes. Commonly people ask us if we plan to home-school Forrest. This is his education. Life. As Robert Michael Pyle put it so well, “What is the extinction of a condor to a child who has never seen a wren?” If one can’t understand the world in their own vicinity, in their own reality, than how can we understand the bigger picture? Richard Louv wrote a book titled “Last Child in the Woods,” in which he investigates the amount of time children spend outside and the unwritten rules of society that keeps them in. The demographic location of the child’s home (rural vs. urban) didn’t influence the number of hours a child spent outdoors as much as he thought it would. It was the number of outlets and/or battery packs in the house that ruled as determining factor for reason to be inside. Continuously subjecting our cognition to stimili doesn't allow for internalizing the information we are constantly receiving. Further, the experiences are detached from us. We seem to be experiencing high speed car chases and gazelles in the wild when we're tuned in to The Screen, but we truly experience nothing. Choose life. Isn't that what all the bumper stickers say. Shut it all off. Get out. Live.