2012-08-23

Olympic Reflections

The deep insight of cartoonist and philosopher, Michael Luenig.


Olympic reflections: Slower, Deeper, Wiser…
Two weeks ago a former Olympic snowboarder, Christian, visited our place, morinokoe. As the evening bonfire crackled we talked about children and the challenges ahead for us and them, the things as parents we could do to best prepare them for what lies ahead, and for whatever they may choose to do.
He said that a lot of his work as a coach for the German youth snowboarding team is to ‘undo’ the conditioning that has already been placed in their heads by their parents, their school, or by society in general. I guess, ultimately he was talking about freedom – especially the freedom from fear of ‘what might happen’.
We talked about feeling that trust, in nature and in your own potential – something that is not ‘bestowed’ by anyone, but comes from the core of each of our beings – to guide us. We talked about children needing to be allowed to feel joy in their bodies – not to do repetitive, boring activities, but to run freely, chasing each other, climbing trees, walking tightropes, doing handstands, dancing, singing - having fun feeling alive in their bodies on this Earth…
We talked about diet and nutrition, expressing our disgust at the food most kids in countries like Australia eat every day; overly processed – full of fat and sugar -  lacking in what the body really needs to grow, the minerals and nutrients that come from a simple, organic diet.
Basically, I felt rather like I have been doing (more or less) the right thing as a parent…which feels really good.  It was also validating to hear the comments about our home, which (as you know by this blog) may seem a little too ‘primitive’ for most Australian people’s tastes. Our European visitors have confirmed that this, indeed, is ‘the life’. Simple, low cost, in nature, with financial freedom and yet still enough conveniences for a good standard and quality of life. 
In the meantime the Olympics have been beamed across the planet into billions of TV sets. Our TV didn’t get the channel that the Olympics were on – but still, the kids watched a little at their school and I read the news from time to time on the internet.
The first images of the Olympics I saw seemed to be all about corporate logos and corporate control and even ‘ownership’ of the qualities of dedication, commitment and achievement – while selling junk food, sugary drinks and chemicals that have killed thousands of people. Such a mismatch!
Imagine those athletes reaching the top of their sports on the diets of the companies that sponsor the Olympics? Impossible!  How confusing for our children! And how many parents have pointed this out to their children as they sat in front of the TV with these corporate brands becoming embedded into their psyches?!  
Early morning slow fire work...

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