Saturday, March 26, 2011

Where do the children play?

Where do the children play?

Remember the song by Cat Stevens? All about rolling on roads over fresh green grass? This picture seems to capture the spirit of that song for me. Fiona and her friend Sarah were skating on our street the other day, always on the look-out for cars, even though we live at the end of a cul-de-sac. Well, this is where our children play.

The song continues: "Get what you want to if you want, 'cause you can get anything." With today's advancements in technology, we can burn oil and make cars move and even split atoms to release energy. We can, but should we? As Yusuf Islam wrote just before the oil crisis of the 1970s, we can apparently get anything, but is it the responsible thing to do?

And yet when we think of an honest man doing an honest day's work, whom do we think of? You may be like me and picture the construction worker, who just does his job, laying brick on brick to build a house. Sometimes I think we're all a little bit like the main character in "Smallcreep's Day", a book about a man who works in a huge factory but doesn't know what the end product is. When he gets curious and sets out to find the answer, you can imagine what happens.
But shouldn't we all be a bit more like Pinquean Smallcreep, a bit more curious about what happens at the end of the line? Otherwise, our knowledge will remain veiled from us and from those around us.

Cat Stevens' song continues: "Well you've cracked the sky, scrapers fill the air, but will you keep on building higher 'til there's no more room up there?" That is a good question. Where is the limit? Aren't we at a point now where we're just cleaning up after ourselves? You know we've gotten to a scary point in civilization when young people are told that the most secure job they can aspire to is "nuclear waste management engineer". (I almost wrote "safest job"!) 

The gaps in our knowledge are not easy to fill, though scientist are making progress every day. 
"I know we've come a long way, we're changing day to day. But tell me, where do the children play."

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