Jun 122016

Mental and emotional well-being?

With so much talk about mental anguish and outbursts lately, alongside the hype of our beloved sports teams – Go Pittsburgh Penguins and Toronto Blue Jays! – I have to wonder if suppressing art of any kind is really wise for the long term.

Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there is talent on the ice and athletes are following their dreams and passions and kudos to them, I say! Watching my own son fall in love with each sport he tries is thrilling to me and I admire his abilities on and off the ice. I will always support and encourage that for the sake of his health and simply because he has fun doing it.

And I’ll feed him the right foods and talk about moderation and empower him to know when he’s making the right decision so he’ll do so more often. His physical ailments will then be obvious to me while his emotional and mental well-being is dealt with more internally.

I’ll Also Support His Imagination, Too

As an author who has always found my way through written word, encouraging my son and others to use their local library, read and write a book, paint a picture, sing a song, etc is something I will always do. Though so many look down on following this through with a full-time career because our society doesn’t allow for the huge pay cheques to go along with it.

So we tend to focus more on ensuring our children get the required exercise they need, encourage them to get outside and be with friends playing some organized game instead of staying inside and getting out craft supplies. (Not all of us for I know there is a group who do the opposite.)

At What Cost?

Despite the lack of pay cheque to follow a dance recital or stage play I wonder if we’re actually losing out on a lot more by not balancing the arts with sports. Schools everywhere tend to cut the costs for music and art programs before an athletic one, putting more focus on group activities than being in solitude.

I wonder what the world would be like today if we let kids choose their subjects through all of school and let them decide to be alone for a day to work on a project of their choosing. If we rejoiced at the quietness of some kids instead of trying to make them be what we think they should be and if we let them choose pencil crayons instead of cleats. I suspect their persona would change completely.

We Say We’re Free

In comparison to so many we are free in all ways that we cherish while in others we are still behind the times. Our priorities are mixed up with pay cheques and pensions instead of passions and play. Would we save the people from the devastating mass shootings we hear about almost daily, I’d like to think so. I’m not saying we need to blame society for their actions though think if they were free to express themselves all through life it may not escalate to the point that so many have taken.

So while I’ll continue to pay the sports fees I’ll also keep my cupboard well stocked with tools to express ourselves as individuals and give my son the freedom to tell me how he feels. And if he wants to choose a career doing what he loves, no matter what that is, I’ll be right there to listen to him gloat about it and watch him deal with his frustrations.

What will you do to be creative today?

Thanks for reading,

Sarah Butland

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