I have been drawn to sports that involved moving fast and risking your neck since I was a very young child. I loved to water ski, snow ski, jump from very high places and skate. Growing up in Lebanon that was considered radical at the time, but determination to do what I wanted led me to push the limits of social tolerances. So, while in New York, I loved seeing skate boards on every street corner and rebellious teenagers zipping and flying by annoyed pedestrians. It just spelled for me the strong wish of young people to cause a change, to see a new world not dragged down by the old and to simply be free.
What is it that really looks out of the eyes of children? Do we know what we are dismissing when tell a child to just run along as they ask us some difficult questions? What is asking those questions? Aren’t children carrying the beacon of the future? If we dismiss them, aren’t we gambling with the future? They see how big we are, how seemingly more knowledgable we appear, how much more experience we have and they assume that we have the answers. Then we go on to avoid the answers, give wrong ones or simply send them away rejected and with that breaking that line of trust they were willing to extend to us. Wouldn’t it be much better to admit that we don’t know either and to work it out together with the young humans? I wonder…
photo taken: little girl in the mountain village of Tashkurgan~ Xinjiang
The new generation, what words can we list to associate with their day to day domain at this time in history? I did this exercise with myself naming some words that come to mind from the top of my head: social media, games, electronics, texting, computers, television, movies, ipads, ipods, iphones, virtual sports with Wii…
These things they take with them everywhere, they communicate through them, they find their identities with the help of these gadgets and they have become an integral part of the life of a modern young person. And then I thought further and realized that they are all boxes of some sort, small screens that draw the eyes and concentration of a person in and holds them there. So they are boxed in almost oblivious to the world around them and I remember very clearly that for us it was never really like that. Where are we heading? How virtual is our world going to get? Are we going to box ourselves in deeper and deeper? Then the word zombie came to mind (which might have to do with my Lea showing up today with a collection of zombie cards out of the blue!)
Shanghai saw another glorious golden sunset today with the rare clear skies and fresh air that come with such a day, so I found myself drawn to witness the last moments of the golden show. I often see young Chinese people looking with such awe at the fast emergence of their largest and most popular city as if they cannot believe how fast their country is changing right in front of their young eyes. I can only imagine the amount of pressure exerted on the young generation of Chinese from their first school day until the time they take their place as columns in the People’s Republic of the future.
photo: Young man watching the sunset on the river promenade in Pudong (literally east of the river), overlooking the bund on the Puxi (west of the river) side across the river ‘Huang Pu”.
In China, Shanghainese women are famed for their elegance, beauty, strength of character and sense of fashion.
I was walking the alleys of Pudong this afternoon when I was struck with this young woman’s beauty and elegant pose looking at me through the glass window.
Today I was having lunch in a Shanghai neighborhood where many expatriates reside. I was stunned to see at what a young age children are starting to smoke cigarettes these days, or was it always like this? These skaters looked so young, and so “cool” with the whole attitude of “look at me I am totally grown up now”.. and yet I felt that a lollypop would me much more fitting at their tender young age.