Friday, June 15, 2007

Two stories of Individuality and freedom

Two women:

Lovely story by Gail Sheehy in New York magazine about Jackie Bouvier Kennedy's cousins, 'Big' and 'Little' Edie Bouvier Beale: A Return to Grey Gardens, as a musical about their lives opens on Broadway.

It's a story of two extraordinary women who lived lives on their own terms, eccentric for sure but people you'd have wanted to meet.

'Little' Edie finally got away from the house where she was bound by love of her mother after the latter's death, and died in Bal Harbour a few years back.

The house, Grey Gardens, was bought by...Ben Bradlee and Sallie Quinn.

Children and Freedom:

In the Daily Mail, How children lost the right to roam in four generations.

From the Mail story:
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 something I think about often. As a kid, I had a 70-acre farm to wander about, and my parents sometimes had to come looking for me as I'd get so absorbed in the woods or the fields I'd forget to come home. As I got older, I'd wander a couple miles off with neighbor friends, following the railroad tracks or investigating old iron ore beds. It was a wonderful life.
Now children can't leave their yards, or sometimes even their houses. What is that doing to them?

From the author of the report:
"Studies have shown that people deprived of contact with nature were at greater risk of depression and anxiety. Children are getting less and less unsupervised time in the natural environment.


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