This week Time Magazine published The Growing Backlash Against Overparenting. The article discusses the rampant "helicopter parenting" that has become the norm in our culture, and the growing movement away from it, towards what they termed "slow parenting." In recent years, the expectation has been that the 'good' parents will do everything possible to protect their children from getting hurt or failing, and will provide the child with a multitude of structured activities to give them the most educational and future career opportunities. I liked this article as it related to our lifestyle, because it has been a difficult balancing act for our family. I have wondered if our frugality would mean less opportunity for our children, and like any mother, I've felt the pressure to make sure that my children have every advantage.
Also, this weekend I finished up a book that I borrowed from the library called The Boy who Harnessed the Wind.
I heard the authors interviewed on NPR a few weeks ago and was intrigued by the story. The story is about William Kamkwamba, an African boy with what most would agree, were no opportunities at all. After enduring a famine which nearly killed him and his family, and being forced to withdraw from school due to a lack of money, he used the knowledge that he gained from library books on Physics and Energy, to build his own working windmill that brought electricity to his home. His story is inspiring and fascinating, and what I loved the most was how he took what most people would call garbage, and used it to fulfill a need and a dream that he had. I had to laugh when he would describe the process he went through to build and refine his invention. Throughout the book he says things like, "I needed washers, but I didn't have any. So I went down to the local drinking house and found old beer bottle-caps on the ground and I fashioned them into the washers that I needed." He didn't even have basic tools--wrenches, hammers, drills, things we all take for granted, but each step of the way he figured out how to solve the problem with what little he did have. Most people in our country would give up on a project until they could go to Home Depot to buy the exact thing that they needed! Here, it seems there is rarely any need to have that kind of creativity. It seems that now money can solve every problem that we once had to try to creatively figure out.