Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Watching the saga of Abby Sunderland...

For those of you who live under a rock, Abby Sunderland is the sixteen year old girl who recently tried and failed to sail around the world solo.  I've been following Abby Sunderland's blog for some time now.  I'm very impressed by her intelligence and maturity, even if I don't quite understand why it's so important for young people to be in such a rush to accomplish big things.

Seriously, I do wonder whatever happened to just being a kid... playing outside, going to school, having friends, reading books, going on dates, daydreaming... etc.  It seems like so many of today's kids have this need to start companies, climb Mount Everest, or... sail around the world solo.  I think it's great when young people are able to accomplish their dreams, but I do wonder about the price they pay.  Abby Sunderland could have been killed last week when her yacht became disabled in the Southern Ocean. 

Abby says she got caught in a storm and that could happen to anyone.  That's certainly true, but when you're 16 years old and put yourself at such tremendous and unnecessary risk, it kind of puts things in perspective.  Abby Sunderland really didn't have to be out there in the middle of the ocean alone.  She was out there because she was trying to fulfill a dream.  Her dream put her at risk, but it also put other people at risk-- those who were dispatched to help her.

Of course, there is something to be said about not overprotecting kids.  Believe me, I am a big proponent in letting kids try things and fail.  But it seems to me that Abby and her parents fall somewhere at the other end of that spectrum. I am really glad she's safe, though...    

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