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Fishing For Our Future

Oct 5, 2007
In the culture of "no child left behind" we are leaving countless children in the dust of our inattention, and on the swings of media leadership. Beyond standardized testing and social work scrutiny, our children need parents and friends to spend quality time teaching life's best lessons person to person, hand to hand, and line by life line. How can we do this? By taking our kids fishing. It sounds like a very simple solution to a complex problem; however it would a great first step toward a healed society.

Fishing Teaches Peace

The things required for fishing, besides a reel, tackle and bait, are quiet, peace and patience. Very few activities offer our children such important skills and challenge. America's children have been nurtured by a runaway society which has enabled short attention spans, a need for constant stimulation and an inability to sit quietly. Taking kids fishing from an early age can teach them the good feelings that come from being at peace. Concentrating on a bobber or learning to cast can be a life rewarding experience that shows something doesn't have to be beeping, moving or singing to be a worthwhile pursuit.

Fishing Teaches Relationship

Kids have been entertained by media through every stage of their development. Baby sitters plop them in front of TV, parents have DVD players in their vehicles and some restaurants even have "family sections" where movies play while kids eat. Our ability to have dinner conversation, count cows on a drive or even talk about the events of the day has diminished. However, fishing is a relational act. It involves teaching (how did you learn to cast? Someone taught you), and talking. It's a good time to share childhood stories with your kids, and make memories of the things you catch and the ones that get away. Far from the noise of the city spend some time together creating a sense of community and common goals. The skills your child will learn from that experience will help them relate to others as time goes on.

Fishing Teaches Environmental Care

Our kids live in a video world, usually disconnected to physical reality. Fishing will help them connect back to the earth they will someday be in charge of caring for. Whether its hearing a robin's song, or seeing the way squirrels fly from tree to tree or noticing the life in the pond they are fishing in, the good memories of nature can translate into a desire to take care of the world around them. When fishing, kids can see first hand the problems caused by litter, pollution and selfish uses of the earth. They can also begin to realize how precious our ecosystem is and why they need to be a part of conserving it. They can also learn about animals, physical science and trees and plants while out on an excursion. Fishing is one way to teach a whole world in information, in time to save the world.

Young people don't need more CD's, games or talking gizmos. They need time with people, sharing the good things in life and casting a line into their future.
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