Can The Youth Of Today Be The Leaders Of Tomorrow?

If you haven t heard, Earl Beatty Public School in Ontario, Canada has lost its balls. No joke. The public school has just placed a ban on all types of hard balls. Everything from soccer balls and baseballs to volleyballs and basketballs has been banished from the playgrounds. But fear not, as the concerned principal of said school has allowed an exception for Nerf balls and any other type of soft, squishy and otherwise harmless balls. The logic behind this ban? Too many kids getting hurt.

Needless to say I was pretty shocked at these recent developments and one of the first things I did was reflect back on my childhood to recall any occasions where I may have had come into contact with any of these dangerous weapons of mass destruction. I was praying that I didn t have any contact with these balls as I was already beginning to regret the phone calls I would have to make to former childhood acquaintances.

Ridiculous, right? My real reaction to this was Come on, seriously? . Followed by, a sense of loss and a feeling of uncertainty for my future. With a society on the verge of an obesity epidemic, this move by the elementary school is like taking 100 steps backwards. Sadly, this isn t the first instance of over protective parents and law suit fearing schools making such counterproductive rules. Last year ball hockey on the streets in many Ontario communities was outlawed. Anyone found guilty of having fun and getting some exercise on these streets would be facing a hefty fine. And let s not forget the removal of dodge ball from pretty much every public school in North America. Just look at the protective equipment needed now days just to ride your bike to school. If we keep this up, running outdoors may result in a death sentence. Is this what society really needs?

Growing up, weren t these the things that helped define who we are today? Skinned knees and scrapped elbows not only toughened a kid up, but it taught them to be more careful next time they were doing something stupid. Playing sports and playing hard taught us about team work, determination. It nourished our human instinct to never back down and taught us to give 110% at everything we did. Being a kid meant going outside, playing with other kids and building valuable social skills that no doubt would be essential in our adult lives.

If we keep trying to protect our youth from absolutely everything, are they going to grow up into the fine outstanding citizens that we ve become? How social is that kid who stays up all night playing video games and never engages in team sports going to turn out? Will today s kids be able to work well with their co-worked in the real world or are they going to expect to be cuddled and shielded from the bad people of the world. Most importantly, do you want a future prime minister or president who has never played hockey or baseball in their lives? A leader who doesn t know confrontation or how to play rough when the time calls for it.

If we keep trying to protect our kids from everything and anything now, will they know how to protect us when we are old and retired, yelling and complaining about the next generation running and playing on our lawns? Or will they even know what running is?

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About Nic Furlong

PC Gamer extraordinary, curling phenom, forcesofwar.com founder, all around pretty cool dude.