Learning of childhood
Being around kids at the end of my trip made me think a lot about childhood.
At the beginning of my trip, I learned a lot of things by staying in the favela. It was the first time in a very long time, that I felt a true sense of community like we had as children. Heading back to hostel at 10pm, I saw kids still out playing and running around whilst the adults sat in groups drinking and chatting. You could hear music playing and people laughing. And actually even standing out, I still felt pretty safe.
Maybe this was also due to the pacification. In 2008, the Unidade de Policia Pacificadora (UPP), a law enforcement and social services program began. I stayed in the Cantagalo Favela and the UPP was in full force there. It was actually located right next to my hostel and there were always police officers around with their big guns. Is that off putting or does that help with a sense of safety?
Obviously I was only there for a couple of days but was able to observe. Sunday was their party day and looking out across the hill, I could see lots of celebrations. Also, in walking down the hill, I could see people partying for birthdays; different groups; fireworks going off; people drinking beer but mainly the children playing with smiles on their faces.
I believe that society has changed the way kids are brought up to extremes. In the developed countries, kids as young as 2 can play on iPads, watch shows on big TVs and are more technologically advanced than some granny's. When we were younger, we didn't have that luxury. We had books, we played on the street, we interacted a lot more because we couldn't hit behind our mobile phones. We had to use our brains to memorize phone numbers, we had to stick to plans because we made a call before left house and arranged plans, and we were able to carry out simply sums. Nowadays, life is easy. We have technology to do so many things that we don't need to use our brains to think, or our legs to walk to the library, or our creative part of brain to make up playground games.
Of course, technology is amazing. You can learn so many things like your alphabet for when you are a kid to a language when you are a teenager. The easy life. For research projects, you can just google for information, whereas before you had to go to library, put in key words, search the shelves and sometimes even wait til someone else returns the book. How much time do we save now? Maybe now we can use that saved time to be kids? To revert back to our youth and be a kid? The days of being free and playing using our creative minds, our body for activity and our social skills for interaction.
For 2014, maybe as adults we can try to be kids more. Use the list below and try to be a kid maybe once a day? Once a week?
Visit a toy store and purchase a game/toy
Play Mini golf
Finger paint old bed sheet
Watch 3 stooges
Make daisy chains
Read with torch under cover
Go on swing
Play on a roundabout
Play in rain
Play in a Forrest
Play trophy (handstand games)
Run through sprinklers
Climb a tree
Play on farm
Jump on a bed
Fly a kite
Play with Lego
Mix different colours of ice cream
Make a sand castle
Bury someone in the sand
Make snow angels
Paint by numbers
Play card games
Build a tree house
Ride a bike with stabilisers
Go home when street lights go on
What are the other things that you can do to feel like a kid?
Tracy Donachie, MSc in Performance Psychology.