The UK’s Daily Mail reports on how children lost the right to roam.
When George Thomas was eight he walked everywhere.
It was 1926 and his parents were unable to afford the fare for a tram, let alone the cost of a bike and he regularly walked six miles to his favourite fishing haunt without adult supervision.
Fast forward to 2007 and Mr Thomas’s eight-year-old great-grandson Edward enjoys none of that freedom.
He is driven the few minutes to school, is taken by car to a safe place to ride his bike and can roam no more than 300 yards from home.
This is just sad. Check out the Daily Mail’s map:
Why do parents let themselves be controlled by fear? There has never been a generation when kids were safer away from home than this one. If a child in the 1920’s sprained his ankle in the woods, he would have to lie there in pain until someone found him. A child today could call 911 on his cell phone.
I lay a lot of the blame for the terrified parents at the feet of the news media. They have scared parents into thinking that they must know their child’s location at all times, lest they be kidnapped.
The default emotion that people feel towards strangers isn’t trust, friendliness, or even curiosity, it’s fear. Every adult male over the age of sixteen is a perceived threat, even though the vast majority of people are fundamentally decent folks.
Turn off the news. Talk to strangers.
(Via reddit, where you will find a comment very similar to this post.)