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Friday, October 24, 2014

Innocence (Lost)

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

We used to play outside when I was a kid. In the winter we would build igloos and forts on the front lawn and dig tunnels under the snow. In the summer we would ride our bikes to the park and play with anyone else who was there, whether we knew them or not. We were kids being kids, and we were safe without being supervised - for the most part.

But we no longer have those freedoms, do we?

Forget about the fact that “screen time” has taken over for “outdoor play” in many households because that is a whole other issue for another day, I am talking about public safety and security. We live in a day in age where children are kidnapped right in front of their homes, and other kids with guns are entering schools! It can be a very scary world out there and I have to ask…

At what point in my lifetime did we need to hit the panic button?

It isn’t just children’s lives that have changed, everyone’s has. Just look at the effects that 9/11 alone has had on all of us since 2001, especially when traveling. I understand that everything is done with the intention of keeping us all safe, and I greatly respect and appreciate the efforts, but I remember a time when we were safe without those measures.

You can’t trust people anymore, and that is sad.

Until this last week I was extremely dismissive about the possibility that Canada was facing potential terrorist threats as the news reported, and then it happened – 2 separate attacks on our military and government, back to back. I don’t want to recount the details, or speculate whether they are in fact terrorism or not, but I do want to say that seeing #OttawaShooting trend on Twitter was the last thing I ever thought I would see this week! We spent a couple of days there recently and I absolutely love that “sleepy city”, as one reporter referred to it. It is a very friendly and welcoming place, including Parliament; it is not closed off and under guard the way the White House is, for example, but now that is sure to change as well.

We live our lives behind locked doors and fenced in yards. We rely on fancy alarm systems as “protection”. We travel to landmarks around the world only to be kept at a distance to look in from the outside. Out of necessity, we have begun to teach our children to fear the world around them as well as the people in it.

This is not the world I once knew, and not the future I had hoped to see for my children…