Common Sense Comes to Town!

Common sense is the most fairly distributed thing in the world, for each one thinks he is so well-endowed with it that even those who are hardest to satisfy in all other matters are not in the habit of desiring more of it than they already have. (Descartes)

When Having Fun Isn’t Child’s Play

Posted on | September 20, 2011 | No Comments

Are we still a nation of water-bearers whose only hope for economic and social liberation necessary goes through professional sport? This appears to be the belief of a handful of hot-headed managers of Hockey-Montréal, who suspended nearly 35 children and teenagers this year.  Their crime? They did not show up for an “elite” level training camp.

It seems like hockey is still a religion, where some circles are more fanatical than others. Not to aim for the elite, the cream of the crop, or the NHL is paramount to blasphemy and punishable by exile.

Could we remind the senseless absolutists who reached this decision that sport and play aim first and foremost to allow children to develop themselves on social and physical levels, and to create a healthy lifestyle?  Forced play isn’t play anymore. It’s work or slavery. To offer access to elite levels to those who wish to surpass themselves and have the capacities to do so is laudable. To impose it is despicable; we can only guess at the shady motivations of organizers who wish to gather the best team at all cost, in order to garner more prestige and use these youths as a springing board to climb up the ladder of professional sport.

This is almost enough in fact to turn these children away from fun and games, a pleasure which is sometimes surprisingly useful in adulthood. To wit, just read about the advances made in the fight against AIDS using the on-line game FoldIt. Such a challenge could not have been overcome by forcefully conscripting players to a cause; to the contrary, free cooperation and playfulness allowed us to triumph.

At the very least these thirty-five kids deserve a heartfelt apology and immediate reinstatement in their local hockey leagues. Those responsible for such a mistake should spend a bit more time playing just for the sake of fun itself and be reminded thus of a few fundamental values.

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